Designing simulation models for HIV/AIDS

Designing simulation models for HIV/AIDS

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been a major health problem throughout the world for decades. We developed models to understand its dynamics both across hosts, and specifically injection drug users (Eslahchi et al., 2010), and within-hosts. Our model within hosts was used to get a better understanding of how HIV-infected cells behave, and particularly to assess the importance of medication adherence for the effectiveness of treatment. We found that a small lack of adherence could have a proportionally much larger impact on infection as well as trigger negative effects on health sooner (Rana et al., 2015). Consequently, improving adherence can be very beneficial (particularly for those whose adherence is already high), and small issues in adherence should be addressed early on. We are proud of our team’s work on this project, as our 2015 paper was shortlisted for the best paper award at the ACM SIGPADS conference.

Key references:

  • Eslahchi, C., Pezeshk, H., Sadeghi, M., Giabbanelli, P.J., Movahedi, F., Dabbaghian, V. (2010) A probabilistic model for the spread of HIV infection among injection drug users. World Journal of Modelling and Simulation, 6(4):267-273.
  • Rana, E., Giabbanelli, P.J., Balabhadrapathruni, N.H., Li, X., Mago, V.K. (2015) Exploring the relationship between adherence to treatment and viral load through a new discrete simulation model of HIV infectivity. In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGSIM Conference on Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation.

Key collaborators:

  • Dr. Vijay Mago, Lakehead University, Canada