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AIDS and level of education in Brazil: temporal evolution from 1986 to 1996

This article analyzes the temporal distribution of reported AIDS cases by level of education used as a proxy variable for individual socioeconomic status. All AIDS cases aged 20-69 years and reported through May 29, 1999, with date of diagnosis between 1986-1996, were included in the study. Incidence rates were calculated for men and women according to level of education ("level 1" up to 8 years of schooling and "level 2" with over 8 years of schooling), by five geographic regions, and by year of diagnosis. Incidence rates for men with less schooling were close to or higher than those for men with more schooling (particularly in the Southeast region). For women, a time series showed that incidence rates increased at a higher rate among women with less schooling in all regions of the country; in the Southeast, the incidence rate for women with less schooling was already greater than for women with more schooling by 1989. According to the present analysis, the AIDS epidemic in Brazil began among people from the more highly educated social strata and progressed steadily through to the less educated social strata, especially among women.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Educational Status; Social status

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