Combining social and genetic networks to study HIV transmission in mixing risk groups
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Reconstruction of HIV transmission networks is important for understanding and preventing the spread of the virus and drug resistant variants. Mixing risk groups is important in network analysis of HIV in order to assess the role of transmission between risk groups in the HIV epidemic. Most of the research focuses on the transmission within HIV risk groups, while transmission between different risk groups has been less studied. We use a proposed filter-reduction method to infer hypothetical transmission networks of HIV by combining data from social and genetic scales. We modified the filtering process in order to include mixing risk groups in the model. For this, we use the information on phylogenetic clusters obtained through phylogenetic analysis. A probability matrix is also defined to specify contact rates between individuals form the same and different risk groups. The method converts the data form each scale into network forms and combines them by overlaying and computing their intersection. We apply this method to reconstruct networks of HIV infected patients in central Italy, including mixing between risk groups. Our results suggests that bisexual behavior among Italian MSM and IDU partnership are relatively important in heterosexual transmission of HIV in central Italy.
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