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Talk Abstract
Modeling Within-Group and Between-Group Contact Processes:
Implications for the Spread of HIV

Lisa Sattenspiel
Department of Anthropology
University of Missouri-Columbia

The incorporation of realistic contact structures to allow for nonrandom interactions among subpopulations engaged in different types and/or frequencies of risk behaviors has been a major focus of efforts to model the spread of HIV and AIDS. Yet the epidemic has spread across space as well as among risk groups. Furthermore, the kinds of behaviors defining risk groups are not rigidly defined; flexibility of individual behavior is a keynote of human life. I describe a model for the geographic spread of infectious diseases that can also be used to address questions of behavioral flexibility. This model has been applied to the geographic spread of influenza, and analysis has pointed to the importance of the type and rates of contact within communities for the transmission of infectious diseases. The implications of these results will be discussed with regard to modeling contact processes for AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

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