WHO recommends 10 measurements for HIV epidemic

Launch of the WHO Consolidated strategic information guidelines for HIV in the health sector

Staff from WHO and partner organizations at the launch of the guidelines in Bangkok, Thailand
Staff from WHO and partner organizations at the launch of the guidelines in Bangkok, Thailand

11 MAY 2015 | Bangkok, Thailand – The World Health Organization (WHO) released new guidelines recommending simplified indicators to measure the reach of HIV services, and the impact achieved at both the national and global levels.

The new Consolidated strategic information guidelines for HIV in the health sector are being launched at the 3rd HIV surveillance consultation starting today in Bangkok, Thailand. The guidelines were developed in partnership with the Global Fund, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

WHO places high priority on strategic information since the beginning of the HIV epidemic. Today more than ever strategic information is key to an effective, focused and efficient HIV response.

Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, WHO's Director for the Department of HIV/AIDS and the Global Hepatitis Programme

The new consolidated guidelines recommend the use of 10 global indicators to collect information along the cascade of HIV care and treatment as a principal way to track epidemics and responses. These indicators are:

  • Number of people living with HIV
  • Domestic funding
  • Coverage of prevention services
  • Number of diagnosed people
  • HIV care coverage
  • Treatment coverage
  • Treatment retention
  • Viral suppression
  • Number of HIV deaths
  • Number of new infections

Based on essential information collected on these 10 key areas, HIV specialists will be able to assess the scale of the disease, and the impact achieved as a result of the investments made in a country, or globally.

"In today's context of moving towards even more ambitious HIV goals, countries need much more comprehensive, yet simplified tools to collect HIV strategic information, which is the main objective of the guidelines," said Dr Daniel Low-Beer, WHO’s Coordinator for HIV Strategic Information and Planning.

The host country for the launch, Thailand, strongly supports the guidelines. The representative from Thailand’s Ministry of Health, Dr Taweesap Siraprapasiri, said, "In Thailand, strategic information was the key ingredient for success achieved in the fight against HIV. These new guidelines will help us to harmonize the indicators to be collected and used, while enabling us to make policy decisions and programmatic adjustment more strategically tailored for the needs of the people affected by HIV in the country."

The new guidelines aim to help national decision-makers access all HIV strategic information essentials in one place. Alongside the top 10 global indicators, the guidelines offer 50 national indicators, to be selected by countries as the basis for their strategic information efforts. Previously, countries were required to collect information on more than 100 indicators to report on HIV programmes.

"UNAIDS fully supports the guidelines and hopes they will help countries to monitor and report on their achievements towards the 90-90-90 targets and other 'Fast-Track' targets," said Peter Ghys, UNAIDS Director for Strategic Information and Evaluation.

"The guidelines call for countries to better disaggregate their data - which inevitably reveal inequities and help us to respond and monitor the HIV epidemic in children and adolescents,” said Dr Priscilla Idele, UNICEF's Senior Adviser for Data and Analytics.

“It is critically important to support countries in measuring the impact of investments made in HIV programmes," said Dr Osamu Kunii, Head of the Strategy, Investment and Impact Division at the Global Fund. “This is a high priority for all partners in global health.”

WHO's new Consolidated strategic information guidelines for HIV in the health sector is intended for use by all specialists involved in national HIV programmes, as well as non-governmental organizations, donor agencies, and implementing partners engaged in HIV services both at the national and global levels.

For more information, please contact:

Nawinda Limamapar
Information and Knowledge Management
WHO Country Office for Thailand
Tel: +66 2 5470119

Tunga Namjilsuren
Information manager
Department of HIV/AIDS, WHO
Tel: +41 22 791 1073