Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In Kenya, HIV-1 key populations including men having sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID) and female sex workers (FSW) are thought to significantly contribute to HIV-1 transmission in the wider, mostly heterosexual (HET) HIV-1 transmission network. However, clear data on HIV-1 transmission dynamics within and between these groups are limited. We aimed to empirically quantify rates of HIV-1 flow between key populations and the HET population, as well as between different geographic regions to determine HIV-1 'hotspots' and their contribution to HIV-1 transmission in Kenya. We used maximum-likelihood phylogenetic and Bayesian inference to analyse 4058 HIV-1 pol sequences (representing 0.3 per cent of the epidemic in Kenya) sampled 1986-2019 from individuals of different risk groups and regions in Kenya. We found 89 per cent within-risk group transmission and 11 per cent mixing between risk groups, cyclic HIV-1 exchange between adjoining geographic provinces and strong evidence of HIV-1 dissemination from (i) West-to-East (i.e. higher-to-lower HIV-1 prevalence regions), and (ii) heterosexual-to-key populations. Low HIV-1 prevalence regions and key populations are sinks rather than major sources of HIV-1 transmission in Kenya. Targeting key populations in Kenya needs to occur concurrently with strengthening interventions in the general epidemic.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/ve/veac016

Type

Journal

Virus Evol

Publication Date

2022

Volume

8

Keywords

HIV-1, key populations, molecular epidemiology, transmission