Forecasting the HIV epidemic in Finland by using functional small area units
Source: GeoJournal, Volume 41, Number 3, March 1997 , pp. 215-222(8)
Abstract:The purpose of this study is to analyze the development of the HIV epidemic in Finland in 1983–1994, and to predict the spatial distribution of new cases through 1997. The analysis is based on seroepidemiological data of all reported HIV carriers and a number of explaining variables based on individual level register data. Instead of focusing on populations of carriers and susceptibles, emphasis is placed on identifying the primary influences directing the epidemic as a spatial process. This is done by dividing Finland into 62 functional small area units and by assigning the risk of obtaining the virus to each unit based on behavioral, socioeconomic, interaction, and structural characteristics of the population. The approach is a multistep procedure including multivariate regression analysis, the potential model, and time series analysis. The model was used to produce a three-year forecast of the distribution of new HIV carriers in Finland. Compared with earlier studies of similar nature based on the use of administrative regional units, in this paper the forecast distribution of HIV cases is more closely related to the functional structure of the spatial system in Finland. Such an approach offers a method for producing more reliable short-term forecasts of the spatial distribution of new HIV cases. Three different spatial diffusion patterns were identified.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: March 1997