Published on March 18, 2013 by

Different ways to estimate the mean duration of “recent HIV infection” as measured by the BED assay

Robust affordable means for estimating HIV incidence at the population level continue to be elusive and much desired. As resources are invested in developing more appropriate tests for recent infection, the methods for evaluating and optimising the performance of candidate tests need to be further refined. We have recently explored a range of statistical methods for estimating the mean duration of recent infection (MDRI) by investigating a data set from Harare, Zimbabwe. We investigated whether there is an optimum way of estimating the mean recency duration for this dataset. We also ask how estimates of the mean recency duration and incidence are affected by our choice of cut-off and whether these effects differ with our choice of estimation method.