For many infectious diseases, for example foodborne infections, tuberculosis, and Ebola virus, identifying and controlling outbreaks is a routine component of the public health response. Although this approach has not been a traditional focus of prevention efforts for HIV, outbreaks of HIV occur (as demonstrated by a 2015 outbreak in Scott County, Indiana, with almost 200 cases of HIV infection diagnosed in less than a year).1 Identifying HIV transmission clusters and outbreaks has traditionally been challenging for several reasons, including delays between infection and diagnosis, mobility of populations leading to geographically dispersed transmission clusters, and limitations in identifying sex and drug partners who may be infected.
Oster AM, France AM, Mermin J. Molecular Epidemiology and the Transformation of HIV Prevention. JAMA. 2018;319(16):1657–1658. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.1513
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