Volume 27 - Article 26 | Pages 743-774

Estimates of Age-Specific Reductions in HIV Prevalence in Uganda: Bayesian Melding Estimation and Probabilistic Population Forecast with an HIV-enabled Cohort Component Projection Model

By Samuel J. Clark, Jason Thomas, Le Bao

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Date received:27 May 2011
Date published:12 Dec 2012
Word count:9000
Keywords:Africa, Bayesian melding, cohort-component method, estimation, forecast, HIV/AIDS, IMIS, incidence, prevalence, Tanzania, Uganda


Background: Much of our knowledge of the epidemiology and demography of HIV epidemics in Africa is derived from models fit to sparse, non-representative data. These often average over age and other important dimensions, rarely quantify uncertainty, and typically do not impose consistency on the epidemiology and the demography of the population.

Objective: This work conducts an empirical investigation of the history of the HIV epidemic in Uganda and Tanzania through the late 1990s, focusing on sex-age-specific incidence, uses those results to produce probabilistic forecasts of HIV prevalence ten years later, and compares those to measures of HIV prevalence at the later time to describe the sexage pattern of changes in prevalence over the intervening period.

Methods: We adapt an epidemographic model of a population affected by HIV so that its parameters can be estimated using both the Bayesian melding with IMIS estimation method and maximum likelihood methods. Using the Bayesian version of the model we produce probabilistic forecasts of the population with HIV.

Results: We produce estimates of sex-age-specific HIV incidence in Uganda and Tanzania in the late 1990s, produce probabilistic forecasts of the HIV epidemics in Uganda and Tanzania during the early 2000s, describe the sex-age pattern of changes in HIV prevalence in Uganda during the early 2000s, and compare the performance and results of the Bayesian and maximum likelihood estimation procedures.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that: (1) it is possible to model HIV epidemics in Africa taking account of sex and age, (2) there are important advantages to the Bayesian estimation method, including rigorous quantification of uncertainty and the ability to make probabilistic forecasts, and (3) that there were important age-specific changes in HIV incidence in Uganda during the early 2000s.

Author's Affiliation

Samuel J. Clark - Ohio State University, United States of America [Email]
Jason Thomas - University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States of America [Email]
Le Bao - University of Washington, United States of America [Email]

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