Supporting the Next Generation of HIV Surveillance in Zambia

CDC began work in Zambia in 2000. The country had previously implemented many strategies to address the HIV epidemic, but there was not enough quality data to guide national decision-making and planning. For almost a decade, CDC has worked with the Zambian government and multilateral donors to improve disease surveillance throughout the country. CDC’s earliest involvement was through surveillance which focused on sentinel surveillance and AIDS cases.

Most recently, CDC has been providing technical support to the Government of the Republic of Zambia to establish the next generation of disease surveillance. These surveys focus on improving and expanding existing surveillance methods and include bio behavioral, HIV-case, sexually transmitted infection (STI) and morbidity and mortality surveillance. One example of these surveys is the Zambia population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZAMPHIA) survey, which began in March 2016 and concluded in August 2016. Survey teams visited approximately 15,000 households across Zambia to interview people and provide HIV counseling and testing, as well as syphilis and hepatitis B testing. ZAMPHIA survey teams collected blood samples and performed rapid HIV tests and point-of-care CD4 tests. Participants then received test results within minutes, in the privacy of their homes. Findings from the survey will not only be used to better understand the Zambia HIV epidemic, but will help shape future HIV programs and policies to confront the epidemic.

CDC Zambia is excited about the potential of working alongside our partners to bring together these surveillance strategies to better serve the needs of the country and address the HIV epidemic. The Zambia population-based HIV impact assessment was led by the Government of Zambia through the Ministry of Health, conducted with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and technical assistance through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The survey was implemented by ICAP at Columbia University in collaboration with local partners.