The effects of socioeconomic deprivation on the spatial distribution of new VIH diagnoses in Catalonia (Spain): some geographical challenges and limitations using Ring maps

Authors: Nuria Font-Casaseca*, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat Geografia i Historia
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Cartography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: ring maps, activity space, VIH, inequalities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Marshall South, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Using data from the HIV Surveillance Registry of Catalonia (Spain) between 2012 and 2016, we have constructed multivariate ring maps to visualize the rate of new HIV diagnoses and their geographical distribution according to transmission pathways, gender, nationality and a deprivation index. The objective has been to identify geographic patterns of new HIV diagnoses in the region and to describe the effect of the socioeconomic context on their distribution through ring maps, a technique to visualize and interpret complex spatial and temporal information in a single representation. This spatial visualization method can be used in program planning and decision-making process, as well as to implement specific policies and interventions to reduce the incidence of HIV where higher rates are observed.

However, even if the maps revealed a substantial spatial association in HIV diagnosis rate, mostly in urban areas, no significant association has been observed between new HIV diagnosis and areas with high socio-economic deprivation values. The highest incidence of new HIV diagnosis are between men who have sex with men, especially those from high-income countries. The discrepancy between place of residence and place of exposure to risk poses a challenge to these cartographic representations of new HIV diagnoses in relation with the socioeconomic data used. A mix of quantitative and qualitative data together with a relational approach to the concept of place and activity space can be used to capture and represent more appropriately the spatial distribution of HIV risk environments.

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