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 Table of Contents  
CORRESPONDENCE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-148

Exploring the scope of strategic information guidelines in addressing the public health menace of Human immunodeficiency virus: World Health Organization


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2015

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2349-4220.172920

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Exploring the scope of strategic information guidelines in addressing the public health menace of Human immunodeficiency virus: World Health Organization. Int J Adv Med Health Res 2015;2:147-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Exploring the scope of strategic information guidelines in addressing the public health menace of Human immunodeficiency virus: World Health Organization. Int J Adv Med Health Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Sep 26];2:147-8. Available from: https://www.ijamhrjournal.org/text.asp?2015/2/2/147/172920

Sir,

Worldwide, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been regarded as one of the predominant public health concerns, accounting for the lives of almost 40 million persons till date. [1],[2] In the global effort to contain the epidemic and to aid the national program managers, the World Health Organization (WHO) has given emphasis to ensuring the availability of strategic information about the HIV epidemic. [3],[4]

In fact, realizing its importance, newer guidelines have been formulated to encourage the generation of comprehensive and strategic information across various nations. [3],[4] The released guidelines calls for the usage of 10 simplified indicators, namely number of people living with HIV (PLWH), domestic funding, coverage of prevention services, number of diagnosed people, HIV care coverage, treatment coverage, treatment retention, viral suppression, number of HIV deaths, and number of new infections. [4] These 10 indicators have been selected from the 50 national core indicators to facilitate interaction between global partners and policy-makers and to inform the general population. All of these, 10 indicators are simplified yet crucial indicators and can be of extreme utility for the program managers to gauge the response to the HIV epidemic. [4],[5]

In fact, there is a definite possibility that some of the proposed indicators might not be relevant to all nations and hence, the decision to adopt or modify the same should be achieved based on the predominant HIV-related issues in the nation, reach of program across the health services cascade or high-risk/general public, suitability to achieve the proposed objectives/targets, past experience with the utility of the indicators, and ease of measurement/availability of data to measure the indicator at the local level. [4],[6]

As obtaining HIV-related information across all the nations is quite a complex procedure for five of the global indicators, the WHO has advocated for the usage of estimation models (such as Spectrum AIDS Impact Model) in most of the nation so that the results can be compared between different nations. These models are of extreme utility in those nations where very low-level and concentrated HIV epidemics are prevalent as it is quite difficult to obtain a precise estimate for the whole nation. However, even this method is not foolproof and has inherent problems of uncertainty because of the issues pertaining to the source/quality of the HIV surveillance data, and use of multiple assumptions (such as assuming for prevalence of HIV among pregnant women to derive the estimates of HIV among children) to arrive at the final estimate. [3],[6]

At the same time, it is necessary to address the challenges of weaknesses in the surveillance mechanism, inadequate/irregular financial support; sensitize health workers to ensure that all cases of HIV are diagnosed and reported, eliminate myths and misconceptions associated with HIV, and increase awareness among people about the availability of various services to PLWH so that none of the cases remains unreported. [4],[6] Furthermore, it is very important to understand that all the national stakeholders involved in the HIV program should segregate the obtained information based on the age, sex, key population, and geographical location. In addition, selection of any additional indicator should be done only if these indices are of additional merit and can enhance the efficiency of the program or identify the facets of the program that needs attention. [6],[7]

In conclusion, the comprehensive list of indicators recommended under strategic information guidelines can be of immense use for the program managers to reduce the global magnitude of HIV and improve the quality of life of people affected by HIV.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. HIV/AIDS - Fact Sheet No 360; 2014. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 May 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Sullivan PS, Jones JS, Baral SD. The global north: HIV epidemiology in high-income countries. Curr Opin HIV AIDS 2014;9:199-205.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Consolidated Strategic Information Guidelines for HIV in the Health Sector. Geneva: WHO Press; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/strategic-information-guidelines/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 Jul 08].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. HIV Surveillance, Estimates, Monitoring and Evaluation; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/me/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 May 08].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Delva W, Wilson DP, Abu-Raddad L, Gorgens M, Wilson D, Hallett TB, et al. HIV treatment as prevention: Principles of good HIV epidemiology modelling for public health decision-making in all modes of prevention and evaluation. PLoS Med 2012;9:e1001239.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
World Health Organization. WHO Recommends 10 Measurements for HIV Epidemic; 2015. Available from: http://ww.who.int/hiv/mediacentre/news/strategic-information-guidelines-launch/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 May 22].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Vermund SH. Global HIV epidemiology: A guide for strategies in prevention and care. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 2014;11:93-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    




 

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