Analysing longitudinal population-based HIV/AIDS data in Africa from a network of ten community-based cohort studies
ALPHA is a network of ten community-based cohort studies on HIV in Africa. These sites are: Masaka, Rakai, Kisesa, Karonga, Manicaland, uMkhanyakude (Hlabisa) Kisumu, Nairobi, Ifakara, and Agincourt. The network regularly contributes detailed statistical estimates of HIV incidence, mortality patterns and fertility impacts to the UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections, which oversees the data and methods used for producing HIV epidemic updates and projections in African countries. It also supplies anonymised individual level data to the modelling community through an agreement with the HIV Modelling Consortium. In Ifakara, the network has been working on the Mzima data set which collected information from Ifakara urban DSS. Beyond estimating HIV incidence and mortality trends, the network also conducts contextual studies to understand these trends in each site. In Ifakara, these studies include facility surveys and analyses of policies related to HIV services.