Carl Simon and his research group were among the first to estimate the contagiousness of HIV. This was difficult to do simply with empirical data since many of those infected, especially in the first San Francisco epidemic, did not know when or by whom they were infected. Simon’s team applied a rigorous calculus-based model to San Francisco data to conclude that it was the recently infected who were especially contagious. A disproportionate amount of HIV transmission occurred in the very first months of infection, often before the infected was aware of his or her infection.
This observation has guided many interventions since then. Their work was recognized by the Howard Temin International HIV Prize. Last year, in celebration of this work, the Jacquez-Koopman-Simon scholarship was established to support graduate students using complex systems techniques to shed light on epidemiologic policies.
» Read “Modeling and analyzing HIV transmission: the effect of contact patterns” originally published in Mathematical Biosciences Volume 92, Issue 2, December 1988.
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