Epidemiology and Infection

Methods and modelling

The impact of mobility on HIV control: a modelling study

D. C. J. VISSERSa1, S. J. DE VLASa1 c1, R. BAKKERa1, M. URASSAa2, H. A. C. M. VOETENa1 and J. D. F. HABBEMAa1

a1 Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands

a2 National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza, Tanzania

SUMMARY

Mobility is associated with HIV due to more risky sexual behaviour of mobile groups such as travellers and migrants. Limited participation of such groups may reduce the effectiveness of HIV interventions disproportionally. The established STDSIM model, which simulates transmission and control of HIV and STD, was extended to simulate mobility patterns based on data from Tanzania. We explored the impact of non-participation of mobile groups (travellers and recent migrants) on the effectiveness of two interventions: condom promotion and health education aiming at partner reduction. If mobile groups do not participate, the effectiveness of both interventions could be reduced by 40%. The impact of targeting travellers with a combined HIV campaign is close to that of a general population intervention. In conclusion, it is important to account for possible non-participation of migrants and travellers. If non-participation is substantial, impact of interventions can be greatly improved by actively approaching these people.

(Accepted January 10 2010)

(Online publication February 07 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr S. J. de Vlas, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. (Email: S.devlas@erasmusmc.nl)

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