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Surveillance Systems

Surveillance is the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data regarding a health-related event. HIV surveillance collects, analyzes, and disseminates information about new and existing cases of HIV infection (including AIDS). The ultimate surveillance goal is a nationwide system that combines information on HIV infection, disease progression, and behaviors and characteristics of people at high risk. By meeting this goal, CDC can direct HIV prevention funding to where it is needed the most.

HIV Case Surveillance

Data TechnologyCDC’S National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS) is the primary source for monitoring HIV trends in the United States. CDC funds and assists state and local health departments to collect the information. Health departments report de-identified data to CDC so that information from around the country can be analyzed to determine which groups are being affected and why.

Data from NHSS are analyzed and disseminated through national surveillance reports, supplemental surveillance reports, and slide series, the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis Prevention (NCHHSTP) Atlas, and other sources for a wide range of uses.

Resources for HIV Case Surveillance:

HIV Incidence Surveillance

Man with boxHIV incidence is the estimated total number of new HIV infections (diagnosed and undiagnosed) in a given period. Select surveillance programs conduct HIV incidence surveillance (HIS) in conjunction with routine case surveillance. HIS jurisdictions collect additional data elements including (1) testing and antiretroviral use history and (2) results from additional testing of remnant diagnostic HIV-positive blood specimens. The blood specimens are then tested for recency using an immunoassay to distinguish between recent and long-standing infections. The resulting data, along with case surveillance data, can be extrapolated to the general population to estimate HIV incidence in the United States.

HIV Incidence Surveillance page:

National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS)

The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) is CDC’s comprehensive system for conducting behavioral surveillance among persons at highest risk for HIV infection in the United States. The overall strategy for NHBS involves conducting rotating 12-month cycles of surveillance among the three groups with the highest HIV burden: men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users (IDUs) and heterosexuals at increased risk of HIV infection (HET). As of 2011, 20 jurisdictions with high AIDS prevalence are funded to conduct NHBS. Many of the health department grantees subcontract with local health departments, universities, or community-based organizations to implement NHBS activities.

Medical Monitoring Project (MMP)

The Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) is a national population-based surveillance system that collects information on clinical outcomes and behaviors of HIV-infected persons receiving care in the United States. Collection of data from interviews with HIV-infected patients provides information on the current levels of behaviors that may facilitate HIV transmission; patients’ access to, use of, and barriers to HIV-related secondary prevention services; utilization of HIV-related medical services; and adherence to drug regimens. Through abstraction of medical records, MMP also provides information on clinical conditions that occur in HIV-infected persons as a result of their disease or the medications they take, receipt of HIV care and support services, and the quality of these services.


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