Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Abstract Background Phylogenetic mapping of HIV-1 lineages circulating across defined geographical locations is promising for better understanding HIV transmission networks to design optimal prevention interventions. Methods We obtained near full-length HIV-1 genome sequences from people living with HIV (PLWH), including participants on antiretroviral treatment in the Botswana Combination Prevention Project, conducted in 30 Botswana communities in 2013–2018. Phylogenetic relationships among viral sequences were estimated by maximum likelihood. Results We obtained 6078 near full-length HIV-1C genome sequences from 6075 PLWH. We identified 984 phylogenetically distinct HIV-1 lineages (molecular HIV clusters) circulating in Botswana by mid-2018, with 2–27 members per cluster. Of these, dyads accounted for 62%, approximately 32% (n = 316) were found in single communities, and 68% (n = 668) were spread across multiple communities. Men in clusters were approximately 3 years older than women (median age 42 years, vs 39 years; P < .0001). In 65% of clusters, men were older than women, while in 35% of clusters women were older than men. The majority of identified viral lineages were spread across multiple communities. Conclusions A large number of circulating phylogenetically distinct HIV-1C lineages (molecular HIV clusters) suggests highly diversified HIV transmission networks across Botswana communities by 2018.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of Infectious Diseases


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





1670 - 1680