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Projecting Sexual and Injecting HIV Risks into Future Outcomes with Agent-Based Modeling

Abstract

Longitudinal studies of health outcomes for HIV could be very costly cumbersome and not representative of the risk population. Conversely, cross-sectional approaches could be representative but rely on the retrospective information to estimate prevalence and incidence. We present an Agent-based Modeling (ABM) approach where we use behavioral data from a cross-sectional representative study and project the behavior into the future so that the risks of acquiring HIV could be studied in a dynamical/temporal sense. We show how the blend of behavior and contact network factors (sexual, injecting) play the role in the risk of future HIV acquisition and time till obtaining HIV. We show which subjects are the most likely persons to get HIV in the next year, and whom they are likely to infect. We examine how different behaviors are related to the increase or decrease of HIV risks and how to estimate the quantifiable risk measures such as survival HIV free.

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