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MODELLING THE AIDS EPIDEMIC IN MALAYSIA

Ong Hong Choon

Abstract


There are generally three methods of modelling the acquired immuno
deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic. At one extreme is the attempt to
fit a function of calendar time such as a polynomial or other
mathematically convenient curves to the AIDS incidence curve while the
other extreme attempts to model the full dynamics of the transmission of
the epidemic in the population providing much insight, into the
qualitative evolution of the epidemic and identifying the key variables
that determine the future number of cases.
The method of backcalculation which is intermediate between the first
two methods, estimates the past HIV infection rate from the AIDS
incidence data and an estimate ofthe incubation period distribution. This
method is used on the Malaysian data to model the AIDS epidemic
because it makes use of the Malaysian AIDS incidence which is fairly
reliable and is more reflective of the trend of the epidemic as compared
to the HIV infection rate recorded. An application is made in this study
on the AIDS incidence data in Malaysia released by the Ministry of
Health, Malaysia using a backcalculation program and an approximate
incubation period distribution to generate the current HIV infection rate
for Malaysia.


Keywords: Backcalculation, AIDS modeling, HIV infection


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