Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 9, 2010

Estimating HIV Prevalence and Incidence in Africa from Mortality Data

Emily Oster


An estimated 33 million people are infected with the HIV virus, with 67% of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this, knowledge about HIV prevalence in Africa is limited and imperfect. Although population-based testing in recent years has provided reliable information about current prevalence in the general population, we have little reliable data on prevalence in early years of the epidemic. This paper suggests a new methodology for estimating HIV prevalence and incidence using inference from mortality data. This methodology can be used to generate prevalence estimates from early in the epidemic. This information is valuable for understanding how the epidemic has evolved over time and is also likely to be helpful in analyses that explore how policy affects the epidemic or how HIV affects other country-level outcomes.

Published Online: 2010-9-9

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