MMWR News Synopsis for Friday, November 29, 2019
Status of HIV Case-Based Surveillance Implementation — 39 U.S. PEPFAR-Supported Countries, May–July 2019
A new CDC study is one of the first global assessments of the pace and scale of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) case-based surveillance (CBS) in 39 countries supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Twenty of the countries reported implementing CBS, and 15 others reported current planning for implementation. Closing gaps in policies and improving technical infrastructure are necessary steps towards implementing a comprehensive CBS system able to inform responses to end the HIV epidemic. HIV case-based surveillance is the systematic and continuous reporting of individual HIV cases to monitor HIV-positive patients throughout their clinical care and to facilitate rapid public health action. To date, few assessments have reported on the status of CBS implementation in countries on a global scale. Among 39 -PEPFAR-supported countries around the globe surveyed from May to July 2019, about half (20) reported implementing case-based surveillance. Among the remaining countries, 15 were planning for implementation. Despite this effort, gaps exist including patient-level unique identifiers to link data across systems, supportive national policy environments, and data security standards. The assessment identified critical barriers that must be addressed to implement CBS effectively and to better inform responses to end the HIV epidemic.