Modeling the Course of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in China: An Application of a Bio-Behavioral Macrosimulation Model of the Spread of HIV/AIDS

Giovanna Merli, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Sara Hertog, University of Wisconsin at Madison

The Chinese population is believed to be in the early stages of an HIV/AIDS epidemic, but concerns are great that the epidemic may soon spread to the general population via heterosexual transmission. To assess the future course of the epidemic in the world's most populous country, we utilize a bio-behavioral macrosimulation model (Palloni and Lamas 1991) adapted to describe the Chinese regime of sexual relations and its impact on the projected course of the epidemic for short- and long-term horizons. Scenarios incorporating the closest description of Chinese sexual behavior implied by empirical data yield prevalence rates which are close to those projected by UNAIDS for short-term horizons. Scenarios of increased promiscuity and a higher degree of heterogeneity in sexual behavior, of a rise in the demand for commercial sex in combination with frequent contacts with prostitutes would produce much larger, devastating epidemics. These scenarios could reasonably arise in China's not too distant future given rapidly changing norms about sexual behaviors and sexual lives.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality