Two geographers have received an $83,000 grant to map the spread of AIDS across the country since 1981.

"It's common knowledge that the incidence of AIDS is highly concentrated in a few metropolitan areas such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles," said Kam-biu Liu, one of the Louisiana State University researchers."So far, however, there has not been a map produced anywhere in the world that shows spread of the disease at a county level," he said.

He and Nina Lam received the grant from the Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund. They said their work might help researchers predict factors that affect the spread of AIDS in American communities.

They plan to produce a set of maps showing the spread of the disease and mathematical computer models showing how certain factors affect the spread.

"We would like to be able to develop a correlation between the spread of AIDS and demographic variables such as age, sex, sexual preference and the incidence of drug use," Lam said.