Central American Regional Office
Assets and Strategic Focus
Since 2003, the CDC-Central American Regional Office has worked to help strengthen and coordinate strategic information and prevention strategies that target key populations to respond to the HIV epidemic in this region.
Strengthening Surveillance and
Health Information Systems
CDC builds in-country capacity to design, implement, and evaluate HIV/AIDS-related surveillance systems. CDC also improves broader national health information systems within the region’s Ministry of Health (MoH) to collect, store, analyze, and use high-quality data for the planning of HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs.
CDC, in collaboration with other United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) agencies in the region, developed a model to estimate the reach into key populations (men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender women (TG), and female sex workers (FSW)) by using PEPFAR and Global Fund (GF) in each country as a tool to better understand the gaps in current investments in HIV prevention in the region. Regional PEPFAR and GF coverage were estimated at 22.3% among MSM, 50.8% among TG, and 43.4% among FSW. Population size estimates were also shared with governments, the Global Fund, and other stakeholders to better inform investments and effectiveness in reaching key populations.
CDC has been supporting HIV/STI surveillance and control among sex workers, MSM, TG persons, and people living with HIV in the region since 2006. VICITS is an HIV combination prevention strategy that combines HIV testing and counseling among key populations, STI diagnosis and treatment, condom promotion, behavioral change, and an information system to monitor the impact of the project. VICITS results are the main source for programmatic key population behavioral and epidemiological data in the region. VICITS data provide the sole key population indicator monitored by the Central American Ministers of Health Commission. CDC is currently supporting 30 clinics in the region and have plans to support 17 additional clinics by September 2014.