Patrick Sullivan is a professor of epidemiology at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. He says HIV stats are typically released in dry, boring tables that aren't easily understood. But, if you put the same data in the form of maps, which people use all the time, then they're more likely to understand their personal risk.
"I've actually seen people look at the map for the first time and say, 'Wow, I didn't realize this part of the South where I live is so heavily impacted.' So it might be something as simple as someone deciding to accept when their healthcare provider suggests they be routinely screened for HIV."
Sullivan says AIDSVu provides a road map for local agencies to concentrate resources where they're needed most.
"So, for example, someone running an HIV testing program who has a mobile van, or who sends out people to do outreach testing, can look at the map and see, in Houston, down to the zip-code level, those zip codes that are most heavily impacted."
The 77006 zip code, which includes Montrose, has the highest infection in the Houston metro area. That's followed by Downtown, Midtown, Kashmere Gardens, and the Greenway/Upper Kirby area.