Surveillance and disease data for HIV and AIDS

Since 2008, ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe co-ordinate enhanced HIV/AIDS surveillance in Europe covering all 53 countries in the WHO European Region. The annual surveillance report is published each year prior to World AIDS Day on 1 December. 

Countries of the EU/EEA report case-based HIV data in accordance with standard EU/EEA case definitions, while 30 countries report case-based AIDS data. All HIV and AIDS data are from case-based surveillance.

To correct for reporting delay, a statistical approach using historical data from 2005 to 2014 was applied. Countries were excluded from reporting delay adjustment when they: i) showed an inconsistent and non-stationary pattern in their reporting delay distribution during the period 2005–2014, or ii) reported aggregated data during the period 2005–2014. Reporting delays were taken into account for the calculation of graphs on transmission mode and disease trends.

ECDC’s annual epidemiological reports provide a wealth of epidemiological data to support decision-making at the national level. They are mainly intended for public health professionals and policymakers involved in disease prevention and control programmes.

To evaluate and direct HIV prevention efforts, it is crucial to understand the pattern of new infections, or HIV incidence, among groups most at risk of infection. A substantial amount of HIV-positive people are still undiagnosed, either because they were recently infected or because they have never tested for HIV. It is also important to estimate the proportion of the total population of persons living with HIV, including those that are not yet diagnosed, in order to understand the burden of HIV and the need for antiretroviral treatment and other HIV-related care.