Epidemiologic Surveillance

The GHS Global Strategic Information (GSI) group builds the capacities of public health leaders around the world to conduct innovative, evidence-based surveillance methodologies to

  • Measure disease burden
  • Understand barriers to care and treatment
  • Access population-level program impact

Through household-level surveys, probability-based epidemiological studies of vulnerable populations and enhanced case reporting systems, the GSI team supports the collection, analysis and use of data for enhanced decision-making.

By supporting health ministries and other partners sustainably hone national public health surveillance systems, we help countries use data to assess scale-up of core interventions and enact evidence-based responses to control the HIV epidemic and mitigate adverse health conditions.

Our surveillance activities include

Integrated biological-behavioral surveillance (IBBS) surveys

We help country stakeholders to plan for and implement IBBS surveys among key populations at risk for HIV infection. Tools available for knowledge transfer include research protocols, survey instruments, operations manuals, training materials, results dissemination templates and best practice guidelines for IBBS surveys in key populations. To date we have conducted or provided technical assistance to IBBS surveys in Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Ghana, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Peru, Serbia, Suriname, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zanzibar.

Household-based AIDS indicator surveys

We provide technical expertise and capacity building on the development, implementation, data analysis, interpretation and dissemination of results of national AIDS Indicator Surveys. These household-based surveys collect interview and biological data from nationally representative samples of adults and children to provide estimates of the prevalence and incidence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI); prevalence of risk behaviors; uptake of prevention and clinical interventions; access to, unmet need for and utilization of HIV-related care; and impact of prevention and treatment programs at the population level. We have conducted surveys in Kenya and Uganda.

Case-based and laboratory-based surveillance

We build the capacity of ministries of health to establish, improve and evaluate case-based and laboratory surveillance systems. We evaluate existing systems and provide guidance in establishing new ones. HIV case reporting data is used to monitor trends in prevalent HIV infection, characterize the affected populations, identify the number of persons in need of care and allocate treatment. We have provided this technical support in the Caribbean region and Kenya.

HIV surveillance web-based training manuals

We developed HIV and STI surveillance training manuals and data analysis videos. Customized to specific regions, HIV epidemics and participants’ needs, these materials cover biological HIV and STI surveillance, HIV behavioral surveillance, production of national surveillance reports and implementation and analysis of sampling methodologies (e.g., respondent-driven sampling and time-location sampling). By building on and tailoring core themes covered in training materials, we help public health researchers and leaders advance their ability to gather, analyze and interpret surveillance data. Manuals have been created for Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, South America and sub-Saharan Africa.