Advances in medical statistics arising from the AIDS epidemic

N. G. Becker*, I. C. Marschner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Many statisticians have contributed to studies of the HIV epidemic and progression to AIDS. They have developed new statistical methodology, where needed, to address HIV-related issues. The transfer of methods from one area to another often involves a substantial delay. This paper points to methods that were developed in the HIV context and have either already found applications in other areas of medical research or have the potential for such applications, with the hope that this will promote a speedier transfer of the research methods. Among the new tools that HIV studies have placed firmly into the pool of statistical methods for medical research are the methods of back-calculation, methods for the analysis of retrospective ascertainment data and methods of analysis for the combined data from clinical trials and associated longitudinal studies. Notions that have been stimulated substantially are use of surrogate endpoints in clinical trials and screening blood products by the use of pooled serum samples. Research activity in many other areas has been boosted substantially through contributions motivated by HIV/AIDS studies. Noteworthy examples are analyses for doubly-censored lifetime data and methods for assessing vaccines for transmissible diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-140
Number of pages24
JournalStatistical Methods in Medical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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