January 14, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies, and…

We’ve had a lot of scraps of paper around for a while with annual totals of HIV tests done in the clinic. This week, I put them all in one file. I haven’t figured out how to post charts or graphs on this blog but here are a few statistics of note.

Between 1999 and 2008, there were 1141 tests done in the clinic. Of those, 415 were positive, about 36.3%. This should not be seen as an HIV prevalence rate, however, because there’s no way of knowing how representative of the community our sample is. Also, it doesn’t mean 1141 individual people were tested. People can be tested more than once, particularly if the first test was negative.

More than two-thirds of the tests, or 769, were done on women. Clearly, though, they’re getting the virus from somewhere or giving it to someone.

In 2003, the single most tests were done, 251. Last year, we did only 89 tests, part of a general decline in the past several years.

Though the overall positive rate is 36.3%, that has ranged from a high of 48.2% in 2004 to a low of 15.9% in 2000. Those 2000 figures, however, are clearly outliers. The second-lowest figure is 2008 when 25.8% of the tests were positive.

I’m working on a way to organize the data by the age of the person being tested. I might have thought once that the rate would be higher among younger people, i.e. those of my generation, but I’m not sure anymore. I’ll be interested to find out.


Judi said...

I would be curious too, Jesse, to know how your stats compare with those in other areas of SA and southern Africa. I know one of the big issues is getting people tested in the first place. Sounds like this will be helpful info to have pulled together--

mr_nix said...

Hi Jesse,
I can give you a hand with your graphs, I do a lot of stats here. My e-mail address:
montes182 at hotmail dot com.
BTW I found your blog very interesting. morris