Introduction of Second-generation HIV Surveillance Guidelines in some Newly Independent States of Eastern Europe (2001)

Report on a WHO Meeting, St Petersburg, Russian Federation

Reference Number: EUR/01/5016267

The explosive character of the HIV epidemic in eastern Europe demands the introduction of a more sensitive and more flexible system of surveillance. This should be capable of monitoring the ways in which the virus is transmitted and the factors that facilitate it, and offer the possibility of predicting new ways of transmission, new vulnerable population groups, and new areas of HIV spread.

WHO, in cooperation with UNAIDS, has developed recommendations for such a type of second-generation HIV surveillance. As a result of the adoption of these recommendations, three new elements related to HIV surveillance will be introduced: sentinel surveillance for HIV prevalence, behavioural surveillance, and surveillance for sexually transmitted infections (STI). The main aim of the new system is more efficient data collection and analysis. The ultimate goal is more precise monitoring of the epidemic and tailoring actions of its prevention and control.

The participants exchanged information on practical aspects of the current surveillance system in countries of eastern Europe, discussed and agreed on the technical issues of introducing second-generation surveillance, and developed recommendations for the development of national countryspecific protocols for introducing and coordinating surveillance.