Central American Regional Office
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.
Key Activities and Accomplishments
Positive Health, Dignity, and Prevention
CDC, in collaboration with other U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) agencies in the region, the Council of Health Ministers of Central America, the Regional Coordinator Mechanism, UNAIDS, PAHO, Network of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Central America, and National AIDS Program Directors from the region, developed a regional strategy to 1) provide a minimum package of prevention services to all PLHIV, (2) develop and support linkages across services and between facility and community settings, and (3) partner with PLHIV to design, manage, and implement HIV programs that are responsive to their needs. The core package of services identified focuses on comprehensive counseling, treatment adherence, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and stigma and discrimination. This regional strategy will serve as basis for the development of seven national strategies to improve the quality of services provided to PLHIV in the region.
HIV/STI Sentinel Surveillance and Control Strategy (VICITS)
CDC has been supporting HIV/STI surveillance and control among sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender persons, and PLHIV 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 34 clinics in the region and has plans to support 15 additional clinics by September 2015.