A Model for HIV Spread in a South African Village

CPM Report No.: 08-186
By: Shah Jamal Alam and Ruth Meyer
Date: 28th January 2008


This paper describes an agent-based simulation model of the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Sub-Saharan region. The model is part of our studying social complexity in the Sekhukhune district of the Limpopo province in South Africa. The paper presents a coherent framework and identifies the essential factors agent-based modellers need to take into account when modelling HIV spread. The necessary empirical data are drawn from the villagers' accounts during our field trip to the case study region and reports from the available epidemiological and demographic literature. The results presented here demonstrate how agent-based simulation can aid in a better understanding of this complex interplay of various factors responsible for the spread of the epidemic. Although the model is specific to the case study area, the general framework described in this paper can easily be extended and adapted for other regions.

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