Brazil's HIV/ AIDS model : Is it working Fortaleza? - Spatial analysis of HIV/ AIDS
The prevalence rate of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Brazil has stabilized since the year 2000 at approximately 0.35 percent of the total population (600,000 people). Most researchers and political actors agree that the success in HIV management has been highly correlated with some of the policies that the Brazilian government has implemented concerning the HIV/ AIDS positive population (Levi et al 2002; Dourado 2006; Parker 2009). With worldwide recognition of this accomplishment, one must wonder why it is that the North and Northeast regions of Brazil have been experiencing trends of increasing HIV/ AIDS incidence in the past decade (Nunn et al 2009). This study concentrates on the spatial distribution of HIV incidence in the year 2000, as it uncovers how HIV distribution can be related to aspects of marginalization in the second-most populous Northeastern municipality; Fortaleza, Brazil. The central hypothesis of this research states that HIV incidence is positively correlated with rate of marginalization. Marginalization is considered as the sector of population without access to basic social services, such as education, running water, and appropriate housing. Spatial patterns of HIV and marginalization are examined and interpreted in the context of the Brazilian Model. This research suggests that although marginalization has a strong spatial pattern, HIV is not demographically or geographically discriminatory.