HIV medicine 2016 8 18() doi 10.1111/hiv.12416
Geographical information systems (GISs) have made spatiotemporal understanding of geographical patterns possible and have contributed to the identification and analysis of factors relating to health care behaviours and outcomes. The present study is the first to examine the spatial distribution of HIV prevalence in the metropolis of Kermanshah, Iran, using GISs.
The research methods were descriptive, analytical and comparative. Additionally, data recorded for HIV-infected patients in 1996-2014 were used and then the loci of HIV infection in the metropolis of Kermanshah were identified and analysed spatially using ArcGIS (Esri, New York, NY, USA).
HIV prevalence in the metropolis of Kermanshah increased from 1996 to 2014. Analysis of the spatial distribution of the prevalence of HIV using ArcGIS indicated the presence of clusters of HIV infection. The findings demonstrate that there were many clusters of high HIV prevalence throughout the city of Kermanshah and that these clusters increased in size during the study period. Furthermore, the statistics are indicative of a growing number of HIV-infected women as well as a significant reduction in the mean age of the HIV-infected female population.
The spatial differences in HIV prevalence across the city of Kermanshah, as well as the identification of the resulting spatial clusters in different parts of the city, suggest that measures should be put in place to prevent the growth of these clusters and to reduce the number of women being infected with HIV.