Joint ECDC/WHO meeting on European HIV/AIDS surveillance

On 10–11 March 2016 in Bratislava, Slovakia, WHO/Europe and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) jointly convened a meeting on European HIV/AIDS surveillance with representatives of 42 WHO European Member States. Around 30 guest speakers, partners and collaborators from the European Union, the United Nations and other agencies, civil society, the European Commission, WHO collaborating centres and other academic bodies also attended the meeting.

Participants discussed how European HIV surveillance data can be used to inform HIV prevention and control efforts through construction of surveillance-based indicators of the HIV continuum of care (CoC) in Europe and central Asia.

The discussions were based on country experiences with and outputs from a newly implemented reporting format that integrated HIV and AIDS records and added clinical variables to enable construction of HIV CoC measures using case-based surveillance data. Key note and other presentations covered topics such as:

  • global HIV strategic information frameworks;
  • development of HIV estimates using case-based HIV surveillance data;
  • changes around HIV testing and adaptation of surveillance to measure testing trends;
  • Optimising testing and linkage to care for HIV across Europe (OptTEST) project perspectives;
  • challenges and developments in HIV surveillance, estimates and cascade measurements in the Canadian context;
  • increasing collaboration of health authorities with clinicians to access better public health data for HIV;
  • global surveillance of HIV drug resistance; and
  • country presentations on HIV modelling, testing and surveillance system evaluation.

The meeting generated invaluable direction and inspiration to further guide the development of future joint ECDC/WHO work on European HIV surveillance.

Prior to the meeting, on 8–9 March 2016, ECDC had organized separate meetings of the European Union networks on sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV. WHO was invited to and delivered 2 presentations at the STI network meeting, sharing its guidance and tools, experience accumulated in the Region and future plans on:

  • the draft global health sector strategy on STIs
  • elimination of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis.