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Epidemiological and statistical aspects of the AIDS epidemic: introduction.


Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1989 Sep 5;325(1226):39-44. Unique

In 1988, a government working party studied estimates of incidence and prevalence of numbers of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases. They investigated a series of epidemiological, statistical and mathematical problems associated with predicting trends in incidences of AIDS. This paper introduces a series of papers that give a fuller and more technical exposition of the appendixes of that working party report. The papers provide a brief background to the current state of knowledge on the epidemiology of the infection and the disease; a deterministic model for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission in the male homosexual community in England and Wales is introduced. Back-projection methods are studied in two papers, following the distribution of the incubation period of the disease. The concept of minimum size of the epidemic is introduced. Mathematical functions to describe the spread of HIV infection are refined by using past trends in the incidence of AIDS to estimate values for some parameters. Survival times for AIDS patients from the point of diagnosis are considered and evidence for changes in male homosexual sexual behaviour is studied; lag-time from the point of diagnosis to the report of the case is also examined. There is a comparative analysis of the AIDS epidemic in various European countries. The incubation period of HIV in patients with haemophilia A and B infections and the problems associated with making predictions for different at-risk groups or small subgroups based on geographical area are discussed. Reasons for fluctuation between the number of reported cases from month to month are provided.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/*EPIDEMIOLOGY/MORTALITY Europe Great Britain Homosexuality Human Male Risk Factors United States JOURNAL ARTICLE


Information in this article was accurate in January 30, 1990. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.