Objectives: Within the gradually accumulating literature on the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Nigeria, investigations concerning the spatial dimensions of the infection are virtually non-existent. An understanding of the spatial dimensions of the epidemic is central in the development and implementation of appropriate intervention strategies. This study is a geographic analysis of HIV/AIDS infection in Nigeria from 1991 – 2001. The three objectives of this study were: 1) to examine the geographic pattern of the epidemic, 2) to examine the spatial-temporal trend and diffusion pattern of the epidemic, and 3) to explore the factors associated with the spatial (geographic) variation of the infection.
Methods: Data was spruced from HIV/AIDS sentinel surveys conducted in Nigeria 1991-2001 and the 1999 Nigeria National Demographic and Health Survey. Data analyses involved descriptive cartographic analysis, spatial autocorrelation analysis, spatial-temporal analysis and comparative data analysis.
Results:- Cartographic analysis revealed distinctive regional differences in the spatial pattern and intensity of HIV infection within the country. Spatial autocorrelation analyses indicated that HIV/AIDS rates were strongly autocorrelated. The epidemic's epicenter was located in a narrow contiguous band bypassed by a major highway. The diffusion processes indicated a general trend of increasing spread to rural Nigeria.
Conclusion: This study provided one of the first in-depth geographic analyses of the HIV infection in Nigeria in the first decade of the epidemic. More detailed and comprehensive HIV/AIDS data is required for further study of the spatial epidemiology of the infection.