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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) exhibit variable patterns among the provinces of China. Knowledge of the geographical distribution of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is needed for the prevention and control of AIDS. Thus, the cumulative number of reported cases of HIV/AIDS from the period 1985-2013, and the incidence rate of AIDS in 2013 were determined. Spatial autocorrelation analysis and hotspot analysis were conducted using ArcGIS10.2 to explore the spatial distribution of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Both the thematic map and the global spatial autocorrelation Moran’s I statistics revealed a clustered distribution of the spatial pattern. A local spatial autocorrelation analysis indicated hotspots of AIDS incidence rate that were confined to the provinces of Guangxi, Yunnan and Sichuan. The hotspots encompassed Guangxi and Yunnan, while Henan Province displayed a negative autocorrelation with more variable numbers that included neighbouring regions. The Getis-Ord Gi* statistics identified 6 hotspots and 8 coldspots for the incidence of AIDS, and 7 hotspots and 1 coldspot for the cumulative number of reported cases of HIV/AIDS. The spatial distribution pattern of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China is clustered, demonstrating hotspots located in the Southwest. Specific interventions targeting provinces with severe HIV/AIDS epidemic are urgently needed.
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