Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study

Using the data from Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, describe the public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place.

The selected cohort study in this case is the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study that was conducted in 1984 to determine HIV risk factors in gay men. The research started in 1984 but the follow-up proceeded for up to 9½ years. The study targeted U.S. homosexual men aged from 18 to 70 years. The population included men from Baltimore, Maryland; Los Angeles, California, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, Illinois. A total of 4954 participants were considered in this study.

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The study was prompted by the recognition of AIDS as an epidemic of great public health importance about two year after its discovery and description in 1981. The centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 1983 received a report of over 1200 cases of AIDS with 75% of these cases being reported among homosexual men. This initiated the need for further analysis of AIDS spread among homosexual men to verify the reported cases intention of understanding the problem to be able to define the best way to address it.

Discuss the basic epidemiology measures used in the study. Specifically what measure of risk was used?

There were a number of unexplained oral thrust, wasting, thrombocytopenia and lymphadenopathy among other laboratory and clinical findings among homosexual men. These features were associated with AIDS-associated syndrome condition. The research basic epidemiology measures used in the study was the number of infected individual divided by the number of research participants and the result multiplied by 100%2. The used risk measures included clinical examination that demonstrated physical symptoms related to AIDS syndrome and laboratory test results conducted after every six months to capture new cases among the study participants.

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The risk measure also involved self-assessment through a questionnaire and interviews. This assessment was meant to determine individual sexual behaviors such as having multiple partners, engagement with a new partner without prior testing for HIV or use of protection. Other risk measures included participant’s demographic features which included their education level, age, and race, smoking and center or location and how it influences individual infection, and chances of participating in the research to the end

Do you agree with the authors’ conclusions?

The research conclusion clearly demonstrated high level of gay infection with HIV though not as high as initially demonstrated. I agree on the authors conclusion based on the high rate of HIV infection, though I think the results could have been more if there was a comparative study of another endangered group such as sex worker.

What would you infer from the data? Why?

The data initially demonstrated high rate of HIV spread among homosexual men. There was also a follow-up result that demonstrated withdrawal of some participants making it hard to keep consistent data regarding the same. The data however shows that the rate of infection was highly influenced by other factors among the gay community which included race, age, gender, and location among other things. The high rate of transmission was noted among the minority especially those with low level of education.

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