Recently the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and WHO expressed interest in using geographical targeting strategies when implementing interventions for reducing HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. If geographical targeting is used, a disproportionate amount of the resources that are available for prevention will be allocated to geographical locations where HIV prevalence is substantially higher than average. Mathematical models have shown that using geographical targeting to allocate limited resources would, under certain assumptions, be a cost-effective strategy for controlling HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa. UNAIDS has begun to construct a quantitative framework that can be used to design geographical targeting strategies for sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, they have constructed HIV epidemic surface prevalence (ESP) maps for many countries in the region. These maps show the proportion of the adult population that is living with HIV infection. However, the ESP maps they have constructed are not sex-specific. A comment published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases shows the importance of constructing sex-specific ESP maps. It focuses on Lesotho, a country with an HIV epidemic that UNAIDS has identified as a priority for elimination. HIV prevalence in Lesotho is 23%.
The full comment can be downloaded here: