Mapping Epidemics

Content From: HIV.govPublished: September 10, 20122 min read


Dr. Kim Elmore
The NCHHSTP Atlas—an online visualization tool for surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—is the latest innovation of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP). Using the Atlas allows you to identify areas of the United States and U.S. territories that are most affected by HIV, AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis (TB).

Specifically, the NCHHSTP Atlas includes data on
  • HIV: Diagnoses from 2007 to 2010, persons living with HIV from 2007 to 2009, and deaths from 2007 to 2009;

  • AIDS: Diagnoses from 2000 to 2010, persons living with AIDS from 2000 to 2009, and deaths from 2000 to 2009;

  • STDs: Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and primary and secondary syphilis data from 2000 to 2010;

  • TB: Diagnoses from 2000 to 2010;

  • Hepatitis: Acute viral hepatitis A, acute viral hepatitis B, and acute viral hepatitis C from 2000 to 2009.

The Atlas allows users to easily toggle between cases and rates; identify disparities by race/ethnicity, sex, and age; access pre-developed queries suggested by CDC’s scientific staff; and access links for more information.

Additionally, the NCHHSTP Atlas allows for more emphasis on mapping, display, and analyses, because it is built on GIS software. With this state-of-the-art tool, users have the ability to show data trends over time; create interactive maps, tables, pie charts, and bar graphs; and download and export the data and all graphics. Two-way data stratifications of HIV and AIDS data and three-way stratifications of STD and TB data for most areas can be undertaken with this robust tool.

CDC staff are always working to improve the NCHHSTP Atlas. A dashboard and additional graphics as well as more data will be added in the future, including county-level HIV and STD data, census socioeconomic data, and HIV and STD testing data.

The Atlas offers new opportunities to public health professionals to access the information necessary to plan in more efficient and impactful ways and to better tailor resources and interventions to meet the needs of those in the areas hardest hit.

I invite you to take a look and utilize this new and expanding tool.A note from We have blogged on other tools and encourage our readers to also see this post about AIDSVu.