Purpose of review: HIV is transmitted within complex biobehavioral systems. Mathematical modeling can provide insight to complex population-level outcomes of various behaviors measured at an individual level.
Recent findings: HIV models in the social and behavioral sciences can be categorized in a number of ways; here, we consider two classes of applications common in the field generally, and in the past year in particular: those models that explore significant behavioral determinants of HIV disparities within and between populations; and those models that seek to evaluate the potential impact of specific social and behavioral interventions.
Summary: We discuss two overarching issues we see in the field: the need to further systematize effectiveness models of behavioral interventions, and the need for increasing investigation of the use of behavioral data in epidemic models. We believe that a recent initiative by the National Institutes of Health will qualitatively change the relationships between epidemic modeling and sociobehavioral prevention research in the coming years.