Latora, Vito and Nyamba, André and Simporé, Jacques and Sylvette, Bahiré and Diane, Sandwidi and Sylvére, Bukiki and Musumeci, Salvatore (2006) Network of sexual contacts and sexually transmitted HIV infection in Burkina Faso. Journal of Medical Virology, Vol. 78 (6), p. 724-729. eISSN 1096-9071. Article.
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Two thirds of the people who have been infected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the world live in Sub-Saharan African countries. The results of a study measuring the degree distribution of the network of sexual contacts in Burkina Faso are described. Such a network is responsible for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and in particular of HIV. It has been found that the number of different sexual partners reported by males is a power law distribution with an exponent γ= 2.9 (0.1). This is consistent with the degree distribution of scale-free networks. On the other hand, the females can be divided into two groups: the prostitutes with an average of 400 different partners per year, and females with a stable partner, having a rapidly decreasing degree distribution. Such a result may have important implications on the control of sexually transmitted diseases and in particular of HIV. Since scale-free networks have no epidemic threshold, a campaign based on prevention and anti-viral treatment of few highly connected nodes can be more successful than any policy based on enlarged but random distribution of the available anti-viral treatments. J. Med. Virol. 78:724-729, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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