Socio-Demographic Context of the AIDS Epidemic in a Rural Area in Tanzania with a Focus on People

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Author(s): Boerma J T, et al

Year: 2001

This paper describes the context of the AIDS epidemic in a small rural area in Tanzania, where a population of about 20,000 people has been followed since 1994. The current analysis includes the period 1994-1998 and focuses on population characteristics rather than individual risk factors. Special attention is given to people's mobility and marriage patterns and how these relate to sexual behavior and HIV infection at the community level. It is shown that mobility and marriage are critical contextual factors in this population, and sexual mixing is dynamic and diffuse. It does not appear to be possible to identify and target spread or maintenance networks. In terms of interventions, this does not mean that focusing interventions is not possible. However, an area-based strategy seems more feasible and more suitable than an approach aimed at high-risk networks.

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