Models for HIV/AIDS

  • Fred Brauer
  • Carlos Castillo-Chavez
  • Zhilan Feng
Part of the Texts in Applied Mathematics book series (TAM, volume 69)


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was first identified as a new disease in the homosexual community in San Francisco in 1981. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was identified as the causative agent for AIDS in 1983. The disease has several very unusual aspects. After the initial infection, there are symptoms, including headaches and fever for 2 or 3 weeks. Transmissibility is high for about 2 months, and then there is a very long latent period during which transmissibility is low. At the end of this latent period, which may last 10 years, transmissibility rises, signaling the development of full-blown AIDS. In the absence of treatment, AIDS is invariably fatal. Now, HIV can be treated with a combination of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) drugs, which both reduce the symptoms and prolong the period of low infectivity. While there is still no cure for AIDS, treatment has made it no longer a necessarily fatal disease. To describe the variation of infectivity for HIV, one possibility would be to use a staged progression model, with multiple infective stages having different infectivity. Another possibility would be to use an age of infection model.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Brauer
    • 1
  • Carlos Castillo-Chavez
    • 2
  • Zhilan Feng
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Mathematical and Computational Modeling Center (MCMSC), Department of Mathematics and StatisticsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Department of MathematicsPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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