Leigh Brown  


In the middle of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, it is easy to lose sight of the other one. The scale of the global HIV pandemic is difficult to grasp. UNAIDS estimates nearly 700,000 people died of HIV-associated illness in 2019, and 1.7 million became newly infected. Huge breakthroughs in understanding have been made and there are now many highly effective antiretroviral drugs but still no vaccine. Two thirds of the 38 million people living with HIV infection are now receiving ART and new infections have decreased by 38% in sub-Saharan Africa since 2010, but have increased by 70% in eastern Europe and central Asia. In the 2019 State of the Union Address the USA committed to eradicating HIV infection within its borders, using analysis of sequence data to reveal transmission networks and inform the delivery of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP). We published our first analysis of the transmission structure of a national HIV epidemic in 2006. Go to Research. to learn what we have been doing since then.

HIV has acquired resistance to all drugs available, which can be transmitted. Nation-wide surveillance programmes based on HIV sequences provide an important resource for monitoring this and can reveal much about the structure of the epidemic in different risk groups. We analyse viral sequences using techniques from statistics, quantitative genetics and informatics to develop models of how the virus spreads, and how it interacts with the human host and how it responds to antiretroviral therapy.

The group hosted the 21st HIV Dynamics and Evolution Workshop on the Isle of Skye in 2017. See here for a report.

If you would like to contact any member of the group please go to People.

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