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A model for the coupled disease dynamics of HIV and HSV-2 with mixing among and between genders.

Abstract

Evidence indicates that those with genital herpes (HSV-2) infections have greater risks of infection by HIV; and, once co-infected, are more likely to transmit HIV. To better understand the interactions between HIV and HSV-2, we construct a mathematical model that describes the joint dynamics. A new feature of this model is the inclusion of both heterosexual and homosexual interactions. We derive and interpret the basic and invasion reproduction numbers for HIV and HSV-2 using the approach of next-generation matrices. We then perform scenario analyses and conduct a sensitivity analysis to investigate the impact of the model parameters on the reproduction numbers and disease prevalences. We conclude that homosexual transmission drastically changes the disease prevalences; hence, it is important to account for this interaction as models that ignore homosexuality may greatly underestimate the disease burden.

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