The Community Need Index Report Series (2006 Edition)
Limitations of the CNI
Users of the CNI should exercise caution when using and interpreting the information in the report series. Some of the known limitations are discussed here. First, the CNI is a composite measure designed to describe the spatial variation of HIV/AIDS presence and aggregated risk factors across geographic units, and therefore should not be used to infer risk behavior of individuals living in a particular ZIP code. Second, it is important to recognize that every community has potential needs for HIV/AIDS-related services. However, a high need area does not necessarily imply the lack of such services. The designation of a high, moderate, or low need label to a ZIP code is based on the relative ranking of a ZIP code and therefore should be considered in the context of the CNI statistical area where the ZIP code is located. Thus, a ZIP code area in New York City designated as "low" need may in fact have a higher absolute level of need than a "moderate" need ZIP code in other CNI statistical areas. Third, the CNI and its nine indicators do not reflect the most current information due to lag time in data reporting. Fourth, the CNI indicates, at the aggregate level, where people with different levels of service need resided during a given period of time in the past. High need areas do not necessarily represent the locations where certain high risk behavior has taken place, nor predict future occurrence of high risk behavior. In fact, people who are at high risk of HIV infection may have been exposed to risky behavior outside their resident ZIP codes. Finally, CNI scores are based on rates, not absolute numbers. A higher CNI score from a sparsely populated area may represent fewer persons who need services than a lower CNI score from a high population area.
- About the CNI (2006 Edition)
- Description of Statistical Indicators
- What is the Community Need Index?
- New Features and Enhancements
- Download Regional Reports