TITLE

Halting HIV/AIDS with avatars and havatars: a virtual world approach to modelling epidemics

AUTHOR(S)
Gordon, Richard; Björklund, Natalie K; Smith, Robert J.; Blyden, Eluemuno R.
PUB. DATE
January 2009
SOURCE
BMC Public Health;2009 Supplement 1, Vol. 9, Special section p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: A major deficit of all approaches to epidemic modelling to date has been the need to approximate or guess at human behaviour in disease-transmission-related contexts. Avatars are generally human-like figures in virtual computer worlds controlled by human individuals. Methods: We introduce the concept of a "havatar", which is a (human, avatar) pairing. Evidence is mounting that this pairing behaves in virtual contexts much like the human in the pairing might behave in analogous real-world contexts. Results: We propose that studies of havatars, in a virtual world, may give a realistic approximation of human behaviour in real-world contexts. If the virtual world approximates the real world in relevant details (geography, transportation, etc.), virtual epidemics in that world could accurately simulate real-world epidemics. Havatar modelling of epidemics therefore offers a complementary tool for tackling how best to halt epidemics, including perhaps HIV/AIDS, since sexual behaviour is a significant component of some virtual worlds, such as Second Life. Conclusion: Havatars place the control parameters of an epidemic in the hands of each individual. By providing tools that everyone can understand and use, we could democratise epidemiology.
ACCESSION #
47370869

 

Related Articles

  • Sonic Intelligence as a Virtual Therapeutic Environment. Tarnanas, Ioannis; Adam, Dimitrios // CyberPsychology & Behavior;Jun2003, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p309 

    This paper reports on the results of a research project, on comparing one virtual collaborative environment with a first-person visual immersion (first-perspective interaction) and a second one where the user interacts through a sound-kinetic virtual representation of himself (avatar), as a...

  • Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds. Billings, Diane M.; Kowalski, Karren // Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing;Nov2009, Vol. 40 Issue 11, p489 

    This column explores virtual worlds and their use in nursing.

  • HETEROSEXUALS AND AIDS. Leishman, Katie // Atlantic (02769077);Feb87, Vol. 259 Issue 2, p39 

    Focuses on the transmission of the human immuno-deficiency virus in families of persons with transfusion-associated infection and between heterosexuals in the U.S. Questions posed by the varying rate of transmission; Notions that have survived the introduction of undeniable evidence of...

  • Molecular Epidemiology of HIV-1 Infection and Full-Length Genomic Analysis of Circulating Recombinant Form 07_BC Strains from Injection Drug Users in Taiwan. Yu-Ting Lin; Yu-Ching Lan; Yen-Ju Chen; Yu-Hui Huang; Cheng-Ming Lee; Tze-Tze Liu; Wing-Wai Wong; Jyh-Yuan Yang; Chin-Tien Wang; Chen, Yi-Ming Arthur // Journal of Infectious Diseases;5/1/2007, Vol. 195 Issue 9, p1283 

    Background. Previously, we reported that there was an outbreak of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) circulating recombinant form (CRF) 07_BC among injection drug users (IDUs) in Taiwan in 2004. The objectives of the present study were to conduct a molecular epidemiological analysis and...

  • IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH. Geddes, Linda // New Scientist;3/15/2014, Vol. 221 Issue 2960, p46 

    The article discusses efforts to create digital simulations of individuals' bodies connected to their medical history data in order to test drug and surgery outcomes and forecast health, focusing on the Virtual Physiological Human initiative. Topics include the emphasis on the complexity and...

  • Toward unsupervised outbreak detection through visual perception of new patterns. Lévy, Pierre P.; Valleron, Alain-Jacques // BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p1 

    Background: Statistical algorithms are routinely used to detect outbreaks of well-defined syndromes, such as influenza-like illness. These methods cannot be applied to the detection of emerging diseases for which no preexisting information is available. This paper presents a method aimed at...

  • The importance of including dynamic social networks when modeling epidemics of airborne infections: does increasing complexity increase accuracy?  // BMC Medicine;2011, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p88 

    The author comments on the study conducted by J. Stehle and colleagues to examine the importance of information needed about the properties of the social contact network to accurately characterize an epidemic. It mentions that the study characterized epidemics in terms of the total number of...

  • My avatar, my self: Virtual harm and attachment. Jessica Wolfendale // Ethics & Information Technology;Jul2007, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p111 

    Abstract  Multi-user online environments involve millions of participants world-wide. In these online communities participants can use their online personas – avatars – to chat, fight, make friends, have sex, kill monsters and even get married....

  • Epidemiology and microbiology of subclinical mastitis among HIV-infected women in Malawi. Nussenblatt, V.; Lema, V.; Kumwenda, N.; Broadhead, R.; Neville, M. C.; Taha, T. E.; Semba, R. D. // International Journal of STD & AIDS;Mar2005, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p227 

    The epidemiology and microbiology of subclinical mastitis, a risk factor for perinatal HIV transmission, have not been well characterized. In all, 250 HIV-infected women were followed from two weeks to 12 months postpartum in Blantyre, Malawi, and subclinical mastitis was assessed by breast milk...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics