Limitations of using the Lorenz curve framework to understand the distribution of population viral load
I read with interest the research letter by Christopoulos et al. on applying the Lorenz curve to understand the distribution of population viral load. The authors suggest that this framework could be used to inform targeting a small group of patients with the aim of reducing population viral load. Presumably, the same reasoning might be applied to inform targeting across populations or subpopulations (e.g. targeting clinics or counties most responsible for concentrated ‘viral load wealth’ with the aim of reducing population viral load). To do so, one might use the population Lorenz curves to calculate the corresponding Gini coefficients (i.e. the area between the Lorenz curve and the 45° line of perfect equality, divided by the total area under the 45° line) and then direct resources across populations based on their coefficient values. The authors may or may not have had such an idea in mind when writing the article, but I thought it prudent to point out some potential limitations of the framework should such an idea someday take hold.