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Stochastic Dynamics of Viral Transmission
Henry Tuckwell and Patrick Shipman
Several factors influence whether an encounter between an individual infected with HIV and an uninfected individual will result in the successful transmission of the virus. These factors include the physical transfer of virus particles, the infection of CD4$^+$ T-cells, and the subsequent persistence of the HIV population in the new host. We are primarily concerned with the second stage. Using a simple mathematical model, we estimate the probability of infection and its time-dependence when a given number of virus particles are transmitted. We discuss the implications of our estimates for reducing the probability of HIV infection by the use of microbicides or post-exposure prophylaxis.