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Abstract

Piecewise constant incidence models were developed to estimate the force of infection in women from age-and time-specific antenatal or neonatal seroprevalence data. Differential inclusion of infected women in sero-surveys compared to uninfected women was taken into account, with respect to both changes in inclusion rate following infection, and changes in relative inclusion rate over calendar time. These models were applied to anonymous HIV seroprevalence data collected from neonates born to black and Hispanic women in New York City 1988-1992, with incidence and fertility parameters estimated by maximum likelihood. Estimates of inclusion rate parameters accorded well with what is known about the natural history of HIV. The data could not distinguish between additive and multiplicative combination of the effects of age and time on incidence. Incidence was strongly dependent on age with the highest incidence in women aged 20-34 years. There was strong evidence that incidence had been falling in Hispanic women since 1982-1984. The results illustrate the extent to which trends in incidence over time may be confounded by changes in the relative inclusion rate of infected and uninfected women.