HIV-1 infection typically results from the transmission of a single viral variant, the transmitted/founder (T/F) virus. Studies of these HIV-1 variants provide critical information about the transmission bottlenecks and the selective pressures acting on the virus in the transmission fluid and in the recipient tissues. These studies reveal that T/F virus phenotypes are shaped by stochastic and selective forces that restrict transmission and may be targets for prevention strategies. In this Review, we highlight…
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