Revista Cubana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0864-3466
ALEGRET RODRIGUEZ, Milagros; GRAU ABALO, Ricardo and RODRIGUEZ RODRIGUEZ, Mercedes. Contextual, spatial and time approach to the HIV/AIDS study. Rev. cub. salud pública [online]. 2008, vol.34, n.3, pp. 1-12. ISSN 0864-3466. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0864-34662008000300003.
Introduction: HIV/AIDS epidemics presents with many interesting elements to be addressed using the contextual, spatial and time system approach. This paper showed a series of analytical resources that allows "taking another look" on this problem. Objectives: To show the HIV/AIDS spread using several levels of spatial approach and incorporating the context at each level as well as other variables of interest. Methods: The universe of all HIV/AIDS cases occurred in Cuba from 1986 to 2004 was studied, with emphasis on spatial aspects (case location), time aspects (date of diagnosis) and contextual aspects (social and economic factors) at different levels of spatial approach. The methods included multivariate classification techniques (hierarchical clusters) and case cluster detection and regression techniques. Results: Mechanisms of the epidemics spread and its determinants were clarified, relating them to factors such as distance from the primary focus of transmission, social and environmental conditions and viability. Also mechanisms of spatial contagion were submitted. Conclusions: The results proved that it is possible to forecast the forms of spatial spread of the epidemics and this capability is important for prevention and control actions.
Keywords : Spatial analysis; HIV/AIDS; epidemiology.