Annual Meeting of the network for Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV
This joint meeting of the network on Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV network offered a platform for expert discussion.
Main objectives were: to discuss the STI and HIV situation in the EU/EEA; to share best practices in surveillance, monitoring, prevention and control; update the network on ECDC and European Commission projects and seek guidance from the Member State experts on priorities for future ECDC work to support the Member States.
Among the topics discussed were STI-specific microbiology and epidemiology activities and latest surveillance data; gonococcal resistance surveillance and molecular typing; use of data in STI and HIV prevention and control; comprehensive approaches to HIV and STI prevention and control in key populations revision of HIV/AIDS surveillance in the European region, specifically combining the HIV and AIDS datasets and improving monitoring of the continuum of care.
Main outcomes and conclusions
The meeting participants acknowledged that social sciences could effectively improve the understanding of the factors that drive STI transmission and determine trends in STI data and that combination of behavioural and biological data can provide insights into prevalence of infection in the population, uptake of interventions and services. Also agreed was that sentinel surveillance systems for STI, involving 1% of primary care settings, combined with comprehensive reporting from STI clinics, might offer an effective model for STI surveillance.
Most EU/EEA countries perform partner notification with patient referral being the most frequently used method but concerns expressed that partner notification for HIV may be hindered by growing criminalisation of HIV transmission. HIV surveillance
The network agreed on the need for more targeted approaches to tackle the continued increase in new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men and the significant group of people with HIV who remain undiagnosed and unaware of their status.
Secondly, there was broad support for simplifying the surveillance system by combining the HIV and AIDS datasets and for the use of improved surveillance to monitor the continuum of care.
Every two years, the national representatives of the STI and HIV networks meet to discuss surveillance and epidemiology issues for the countries of the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) as well as the WHO European Region for HIV. The next meeting is planned for 2016.
Meeting of the Joint ECDC WHO European Network for HIV AIDS Surveillance (WHO Euro website)
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