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with such issues as the stigmatized nature of the disease, the danger of infecting sexual partners, the wide range of AIDS-related illnesses, and fears about death and dying.

In epidemiological terms, the process of surveillance entails the collection of large bodies of statistical information about the incidence, prevalence, geography, and demography of disease. The purpose of HIV/AIDS surveillance is to track trends in new cases of HIV infection and cumulative cases of HIV infection and AIDS. Through surveillance, epidemiologists are able to conduct research on the magnitude of the epidemic relative to a given area’s total population, mortality trends in specific populations, changes in risk behaviors, and the likely future course of the epidemic.