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Regional disparities in HIV/AIDS in Chile: epidemiological profile of the disease in the north of the country

Arias Aravena, Macarena (2013) Regional disparities in HIV/AIDS in Chile: epidemiological profile of the disease in the north of the country. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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According to the Ministry of Health, the HIV/AIDS epidemic remains under control in Chile. However, when the numbers are broken up by region, important disparities are observed in a manner where the north of the country presents almost three times higher incidence rates than the national average. Using data from the HIV/AIDS national surveillance system and the information reported in several governmental documents, the characteristics of the epidemic in the north, particularly in the XV Region and the I Region, were described and compared with the situation observed at the country level over the last decade. In summary, the analysis showed that individuals from the XV Region and the I Region were at significant higher risk for HIV/AIDS than an average Chilean person (HIV/AIDS relative risk of 2.9 and 1.6, respectively). The situation in the north was particularly alarming among women, where women had 12.53 (XV Region) and 7.20 (I Region) times higher risk for the disease than an average Chilean female. Coherently, heterosexual exposure to the virus in men was also significantly higher in the northern regions compared to the country overall where the epidemic remains highly concentrated among men who have sex with men. Additionally, young people aged 20-29 years were also at higher risk in the north than at the country level. When an ecological analysis was performed to explore possible factors affecting the regional disparities observed in the HIV/AIDS rates across the country, prostitution, drug trafficking and immigration rates showed a consistent positive association with the incidence of the disease at the regional level. Also, condom use presented a strong negative correlation. As a sexually transmitted disease, the HIV/AIDS epidemiological profile varies according to the cultural norms and sexual practices of each population. Understanding those norms and practices, and the particularities of an epidemic at the local scale, is key for designing and implementing effective preventive measures. In this context, the public health significance of this paper is helping to enrich our understanding about the epidemic in the north of Chile so interventions can be better tailored to the specific needs of this community.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Arias Aravena, Macarena
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSonger, Thomastjs@pitt.eduTJSUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberStall, Ronaldrstall@pitt.eduRSTALLUNSPECIFIED
Date: 22 April 2013
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: HIV/AIDS, North, of, Chile, Epidemiology
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 21:38
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 11:57


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