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Epidemiology: Controling Spread of HIV in China

Description of the Research and How It Represents an Epidemiological Study

Chang (2009) conducted a study to evaluate efforts by the Chinese government to control the spread of HIV in China by narrowing down on effective preventive measures for controlling HIV among sex workers. This study was on CNN.

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Why Is This Article an Epidemiology Study and Not Another Type of Public Health Research?

The study is an epidemiology study because it investigates the frequency of a health condition (AIDS) among a specific population (health workers in China) (Chang, 2009). Furthermore, the findings of the study could be useful in planning and evaluating unique strategies that could be useful in minimizing the incidence of the epidemic in the specified population (LaMorte, 2014). Therefore, the article’s findings relate to a specified population (Chinese sex workers). Lastly, similar to other epidemiology studies, the study is about a group of people (Chinese sex workers) as opposed to individuals (Chang, 2009). Comprehensively, the above-mentioned study differs from other types of public health studies because it reveals unbiased relationships between exposures. In detail, it links commercial sex activities in China with the rising rates of HIV infections in the country (Chang, 2009). Highlighting this causal relationship is a key characteristic of epidemiology studies (LaMorte, 2014).

What Have You Discovered About the Current Practice of Epidemiology From Reading This Article?

Based on the intrigues highlighted in this article, the use of multiple research designs to obtain information is a current practice in epidemiology that dominates this discipline (LaMorte, 2014). For example, in the case study sample, Chang (2009) uses a range of study designs such as observational and experimental designs to investigate the HIV epidemic in China. Similarly, these analyses are both descriptive and analytic. This observation reveals that most epidemiological studies have only two components – descriptive and analytical. In the context of this assessment, the descriptive element showed the incidence of HIV in China, vulnerable groups, and demographic characteristics (among other factors), while the analytical element explained how HIV spreads among sex workers and how they contribute to the varying rates of HIV in rural and urban populations. Similarly, the study explains how condom use among sex workers has affected the incidence of HIV within this demographic.

Discuss the connections you see between your current study (chosen article) and the historical development of epidemiology.

The historical development of epidemiology stemmed from a curiosity among researchers to understand the logic of sickness (Winkelstein, 2004). Early epistemologists explained the link between the occurrence of human diseases and environmental factors (Winkelstein, 2004). Here, it is easy to draw the link between the current HIV-based study (mentioned in this report) and the historical development of epidemiology using this logic because the study explains environmental factors that cause HIV to spread in China. For example, it shows that commercial sex work and low condom use in some areas explain the incidence of HIV in China (Chang, 2009). Using the historical logic in early epidemiology studies, changing these environmental factors could improve health outcomes in the end.

How has the past informed you about how the current study was conducted? Include connections to at least one historical epidemiological study or figure.

Some early theories of epidemiology stated that human epidemics came from human luxury (Boundless 2014). Many scholars supported this view. For example, Plato and Rousseau advanced this view through their historical articles, which argued that many human diseases stemmed from lifestyle behaviors (Boundless 2014). Based on the contents of the article by Chang (2009), we could draw links with this assertion because the article investigates a common lifestyle practice (prostitution) and its role in increasing the incidence of HIV in China. This investigation explains how Chang (2009) conducted his study because he outlined one behavioral (lifestyle) issue and explained its connection to an existing health challenge in China – increased rates of HIV infection. This undersigning also aligns with the views of early health researchers who argued that environmental factors explained existing health issues.


Boundless. (2014). History of Epidemiology. Web.

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Chang, E. (2009). China tries to stop spread of HIV/AIDS among prostitutes. Web.

Elliot, A. (2014). Epidemiology: A timeline. Web.

LaMorte, W. (2014). Historical views of causation. Web.

Winkelstein, W. (2004). Vignettes of the history of epidemiology: Three firsts by Janet Elizabeth Lane-Claypon. American Journal of Epidemiology, 160(2), 97–101.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, April 25). Epidemiology: Controling Spread of HIV in China.

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