The pre-surveillance assessment
Guidelines for planning serosurveillance of HIV, prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and the behavioural components of second generation surveillance of HIV
UNAIDS/WHO working group on global HIV/AIDS and STI surveillance
Reference number: ISBN 92 4 159374 1
Effective public health action for preventing and controlling HIV requires comprehensive and accurate understanding of how the virus is being spread. Data generated through the systematic, ongoing collection of behavioural and biological data by national HIV surveillance systems are required to understand the dynamics of the epidemic and to enable appropriate responses. However, the task of identifying which data are needed, among which subpopulations and in which geographical locations in a given country is not always obvious
This publication provides an overview of pre-surveillance assessment designed to address the questions needed to plan for surveillance while taking into account local variation and the constantly changing nature of HIV epidemics. The publication focuses on periodic HIV serosurveys, sexually transmitted infection (STI) surveys and behavioural surveys. It does not consider other elements of second generation HIV surveillance, including HIV and AIDS case reporting, routine service statistics (such as those from centres for voluntary counselling and testing and for preventing mother-to-child transmission) or mortality data. A pre-surveillance assessment is needed for initial and subsequent rounds of HIV surveillance to ensure that data needs and data gaps are identified and addressed. The purpose of the surveillance system must be clear to everyone to help ensure that its output will meet the expectations of those involved in its implementation.