Understanding HIV at the community level is critical to helping focus prevention and care resources where they are most needed. This week, we unveiled the 2012 update of AIDSVu – an interactive online mapping project depicting the HIV epidemic in the U.S. – with new local maps and data that can help provide a better understanding of HIV in the communities most impacted.
AIDSVu now offers interactive maps of HIV prevalence data by ZIP Code for 13 major U.S. cities and Census tract maps for Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. This means that users can now view important information about HIV and how it affects the overall population, and people of different races/ethnicities, sexes and age groups, in key metropolitan areas. AIDSVu’s city maps demonstrate that, in many cities, there is a pattern of heavily impacted urban cores with relatively lower impact in areas further from city centers.
The 2012 update of AIDSVu also includes new maps displaying HIV prevalence at the county level alongside various social determinants of health – poverty, lack of health insurance, median household income, education attainment, and income inequality. The side-by-side display of these maps shows where HIV overlaps with other community characteristics that influence health and health outcomes.
“The visual presentation of current HIV data by geographic location available from AIDSVu is a valuable tool that can help inform local, state, and regional HIV program planning and implementation” noted Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He added, “AIDSVu – led by Emory University and developed with the support and advice of partners from the corporate sector, government (Federal, state and local), and the HIV community – is the perfect example of how diverse stakeholders can work together to actively address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.”
The state- and county-level data on AIDSVu maps also have been updated with the most recent nationally comparable HIV prevalence data available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, AIDSVu’s interactive maps and state profile pages continue to connect HIV prevalence data with information about HIV testing and treatment site locations, racial/ethnic disparities, the estimated percentage of HIV diagnoses that are made late in the course of the disease and a wealth of additional data.
For organizations and individuals interested in reducing the impact of HIV in their communities, AIDSVu’s data and resources can help with HIV education, prevention and treatment. Here are just a few ways to use AIDSVu to help support your efforts:
- Use AIDSVu’s interactive maps as a resource to better understand the U.S. HIV epidemic across geographic levels, and to assist with planning processes, resource allocation, presentations, and grant writing and review.
- Download AIDSVu slide sets and use the wide variety of map images to develop presentations or handouts that highlight the geography of HIV in the U.S. and the impact of HIV at the local level, and to support efforts surrounding HIV awareness days.
- Access AIDSVu’s HIV Testing Locator and HIV Treatment Locator to identify or refer others to testing and treatment services. The same data on testing and treatment sites can also be overlaid on AIDSVu’s interactive maps to better understand where resources are located in relationship to where people with HIV are living.
For more ideas about how to use local maps and data to support your work related to HIV, visit www.aidsvu.org.