The geography of HIV/AIDS in Portugal


  • Paula Santana University of Coimbra
  • Helena Nogueira University of Coimbra


Portugal has some geographical similarities with Finland: both are small and rather peripherical countries. However, the infection with the Human Immunodefi ciency Virus (HIV) has different patterns in Portugal from those in Finland. At the beginning of the 21st century, Portugal is in the fi rst place of the infection with the HIV, with an incidence rate of 105.8 cases per one million inhabitants. The main objective of this paper is to present and explain the geographical diffusion of HIV in Portugal at sub-region level with altogether 28 geographical areas. We were able to identify some geographic hot spot areas with SMR signifi cantly higher than 100. Some areas with AIDS mortality rates signifi cantly above the national standardized rates were identifi ed in the metropolitan area of Lisbon. It was found that the urban/rural dichotomy is the most important factor, explaining 47% and 32% of the variance for male and female AIDS mortality, respectively. This factor identifi es a clear opposition between the variables, with a geographical signifi cance.
Research Papers



How to Cite

Santana, P., & Nogueira, H. (2004). The geography of HIV/AIDS in Portugal. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 182(2), 95–108. Retrieved from