Because confidentiality agreements required not reporting rates derived from counts less than three, and because there were many such observations, the US-non aggregate animation may underestimate the progression of AIDS mortality in rural areas. To compensate for this potential bias, two forms of aggregation were used. In the animation labled US small county aggregate, All counties within a state with counts of 0, 1, or 2 AIDS deaths were lumped and their combined rate was calculated and colored. In the animation labled "US State Economic Areas" counties were combined as defined by this standardized classification.
This series of maps and the animation derived from them provide a new perspective on how AIDS mortality has advanced over the previous decade. AIDS mortality can be seen to be increasing in urban epicenters and recent advances in rural Southern counties are also remarkable. While these maps are extremely data-dense representations, they apply the simplest epidemiologic methods to well-characterized mortality data. More importantly, they make real data vividly accessible to non-epidemiologists.