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Effects of education, vaccination and treatment on HIV transmission in homosexuals with genetic heterogeneity.

Abstract

Genetic studies report the existence of a mutant allele Delta32 of CCR5 chemokine receptor gene at high allele frequencies (approximately 10%) in Caucasian populations. The presence of this allele is believed to provide partial or full resistance to HIV. In this study, we look at the impact of education, temporarily effective vaccines and therapies on the dynamics of HIV in homosexually active populations. In our model, it is assumed that some individuals possess one or two mutant alleles (like Delta32 of CCR5) that prevent the successful invasion or replication of HIV. Our model therefore differentiates by genetic and epidemiological status and naturally ignores the reproduction process. Furthermore, HIV infected individuals are classified as rapid, normal or slow progressors. In this complex setting, the basic reproductive number R0 is derived in various situations. The separate or combined effects of therapies, education, vaccines, and genetic resistance are analyzed. Our results support the conclusions of Hsu Schmitz that some integrated intervention strategies are far superior to those based on a single approach. However, treatment programs may have effects which counteract each other, as may genetic resistance.

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