Challenges to the implementation of behavioural survellance for HIV/STI in Europe

TitreChallenges to the implementation of behavioural survellance for HIV/STI in Europe
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSpencer, B, Jeannin, A, Gervasoni, J-P, Van de Laar, M, Dubois-Arber, F, ECDC, IV, H, Group., STIBehavioura
Conference Name19th International AIDS Conference
Conference LocationWashington, United-States, July 22-27, 2012
Accession Numberserval:BIB_BF1E0D96FC1E

Background: Well-conducted behavioural surveillance (BS) is essential for policy planning and evaluation. Data should be comparable across countries. In 2008, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) began a programme to support Member States in the implementation of BS for Second Generation Surveillance.
Methods: Data from a mapping exercise on current BS activities in EU/EFTA countries led to recommendations for establishing national BS systems and international coordination, and the definition of a set of core and transversal (UNGASS-Dublin compatible) indicators for BS in the general and eight specific populations. A toolkit for establishing BS has been developed and a BS needs-assessment survey has been launched in 30 countries. Tools for BS self-assessment and planning are currently being tested during interactive workshops with country representatives.
Results: The mapping exercise revealed extreme diversity between countries. Around half had established a BS system, but this did not always correspond to the epidemiological situation. Challenges to implementation and harmonisation at all levels emerged from survey findings and workshop feedback. These include: absence of synergy between biological and behavioural surveillance and of actors having an overall view of all system elements; lack of awareness of the relevance of BS and of coordination between agencies; insufficient use of available data; financial constraints; poor sustainability, data quality and access to certain key populations; unfavourable legislative environments.
Conclusions: There is widespread need in the region not only for technical support but also for BS advocacy: BS remains the neglected partner of second generation surveillance and requires increased political support and capacity-building in order to become effective. Dissemination of validated tools for BS, developed in interaction with country experts, proves feasible and acceptable.




Citation Key / SERVAL ID4101


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