Forecasting methods for HIV/AIDS and aging
Recent treatment advances suggest that AIDS may be changing from a rapidly lethal, acute disease into a chronic disease process with lengthy periods of remission. Stochastic compartment models can describe AIDS progression, remission, and overall survival. Such models can combine multiple data sources to estimate transitions through intermediate, unobserved disease states. Age/time AIDS mortality may be combined with age/time AIDS incidence to generate an 'observed' health event distribution, using maximum likelihood estimation. The models can project the future behavior of AIDS in an aging population. Transitions among intermediate disease states (i.e., components of the disease's 'natural' and 'treatment- altered' history) can be evaluated as time-varying functions that reflect treatment efficacy. For example, the introduction of protease inhibitors to therapy with two nucleoside analogues significantly slows transitions between disease states. Persons infected, but successfully treated, may develop organ damage, neurological disorders, or cancer.
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