A mathematical modeling approach to measure the probability of HIV-1 transmission for different high-risk groups of Pakistan
Keywords:HIV-1, Probabilistic modeling, high-risk groups, Pakistan
Introduction: Since 2010, the number of new HIV-1 cases has declined by 30% globally, however, in few countries, such as Pakistan, the cases have continued to increase, where the country witnessed a 57% increase in the number of new infections between 2010 and 2020. The HIV-1 epidemic in Pakistan is concentrated in certain high-risk groups, however, it is unknown which high-risk group has a higher likelihood of transmitting HIV-1 infections to vulnerable populations. This study aimed to apply mathematical probabilistic modeling to estimate the probability of HIV-1 transmission for different high-risk groups of Pakistan.
Methodology: MATLAB software was used to conduct probabilistic modeling (chance estimation) of HIV-1 transmission for different high-risk groups of Pakistan, and also draw a comparison between Pakistan and different high- and low- HIV-1 prevalence countries.
Results: Our results revealed that Pakistan overall had the lowest probability of HIV-1 transmission as compared to other countries included in this study; however, within Pakistan, certain high-risk groups such as people who inject drugs (PWID) and the region of Larkana exhibited a high probability of HIV-1 transmissions.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that the concentrated HIV-1 epidemic in Pakistan has a high likelihood of expansion from certain high-risk groups to other vulnerable populations. Further studies to understand the socio-epidemiological factors driving the expansion of the HIV-1 epidemic within the country will guide specific HIV-1 intervention strategies to control the spread of HIV-1 from high-risk to other vulnerable populations.
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