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Modeling the effect of information campaigns on the HIV epidemic in Uganda

1. Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH 45207-4441
2. Department of Mathematics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1300
3. Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DP
4. Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814

The increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Africa over the past twenty-five years continues to erode the continent's health care and overall welfare. There have been various responses to the pandemic, led by Uganda, which has had the greatest success in combating the disease. Part of Uganda's success has been attributed to a formalized information, education, and communication (IEC) strategy, lowering estimated HIV/AIDS infection rates from 18.5% in 1995 to 4.1% in 2003. We formulate a model to investigate the effects of information and education campaigns on the HIV epidemic in Uganda. These campaigns affect people's behavior and can divide the susceptibles class into subclasses with different infectivity rates. Our model is a system of ordinary differential equations and we use data about the epidemics and the number of organizations involved in the campaigns to estimate the model parameters. We compare our model with three types of susceptibles to a standard SIR model.
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