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HIV / AIDS Surveillance in Europe [EURO HIV] [2004203] - Project
General objectives

The main objectives of the EURO HIV project are - To supply reliable data for evidence-based EU public health policies; - To develop, improve and harmonise European HIV/AIDS surveillance methods and catalyse national efforts to improve HIV/AIDS surveillance; - To support networking and cooperation between HIV reference laboratories and to promote the use of new assays for monitoring HIV incidence;
- To prepare for the possible integration of HIV/AIDS surveillance into the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

HIV/AIDS remains a major communicable disease throughout the enlarged European Union (EU) and the neighbouring countries in Eastern Europe, and further in central Asia. In western Europe, HIV is increasingly affecting disadvantaged communities including migrants from countries with generalised epidemics.1 Over half a million persons have an infection that remains incurable and requires costly treatment. Thousands of HIV infected persons remain unaware of their infection, and hence can neither benefit from treatment nor take steps to reduce the risk of infecting others. Furthermore, thousands of new infections continue to occur each year. Many countries of eastern Europe, particularly the Baltic States, have rapidly growing HIV epidemics. The EU enlargement together with increasing population movement poses major challenges to HIV prevention, control and care in the EU.
European surveillance of HIV/AIDS began in 1984 with the creation of the European Centre for the Epidemiological Monitoring of AIDS.. The overall aim of this project (EuroHIV) is to collect and share standardised HIV/AIDS surveillance data in order to provide information for evidence-based public health policies in a sustainable manner.

Methods and means

The partners in this project include national institutions in charge of epidemiological surveillance in all 52 countries of the WHO European Region, as well as the Specialist and Reference Microbiology Division (SRMD) at the Health Protection Agency (HPA), UK; the WHO Regional Office for Europe, and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Changes and evolution in European HIV/AIDS surveillance are decided by consensus among network members, and after consultation with international experts from around the globe. The 3-year project has been divided into eight work-packages: co-ordination [WP1], dissemination of results [WP8]), WP2 (core HIV/AIDS surveillance, i.e. HIV/AIDS case reporting) and WP3 (HIV prevalence in specific populations); WP4 concerns improving the standardisation of HIV/AIDS surveillance and WP5 the preparation for the possible integration of HIV/AIDS surveillance into the ECDC. As the network is intended to cover the entire European Region of WHO, a specific WP (WP6: Collaboration with third countries of WHO European Region) has been defined to identify the marginal costs related to the extension of the surveillance activities described in WP 2, 3, 4 and 8 to third countries of the WHO European Region that are not eligible for Commission funding. WP7 is an innovative, operational research package on laboratory methods for estimating HIV incidence.

Expected outcomes period

Work package 1: Co-ordination of EuroHIV. Work package 2: Core HIV/AIDS surveillance. Work package 3: HIV prevalence in specific populations. Work package 4: Improving standardisation of HIV/AIDS surveillance. Work package 5: Preparation for the possible integration of HIV/AIDS surveillance into the ECDPC. Work package 6: Collaboration with third countries of WHO European Region. Work package 7: Estimation of HIV incidence using serological assays. Work package 8: Information Dissemination

Start date: 01/01/2005
End date: 01/01/2008
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: First Programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008)
EC Contribution: € 985 209,00