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About the AIDS Institute - Surveillance

HIV/AIDS Surveillance

HIV/AIDS disease surveillance activities are conducted by the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Epidemiology (BHAE).� These activities include facilitation and monitoring of HIV-related laboratory and clinician reporting in New York State, field surveillance of newly diagnosed cases, preparation and dissemination of routine and custom reports, and conduct of special studies monitoring the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

BHAE's core HIV/AIDS surveillance relies on the roughly 1.3 million reports transmitted annually to NYSDOH by clinicians and laboratories serving NYS residents.  Records on newly identified cases are assigned to field staff for case ascertainment and/or to other New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYSDOHMH) or county health department staff for partner notification activities.

HIV/AIDS surveillance data are used to support NYSDOH HIV/AIDS prevention and care program managers, and community health planners and health care professionals across the state in their efforts to plan and provide cost-effective interventions.  Surveillance data are also used by federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to track the epidemic at state and national levels, and as a basis for determining the amount of federal funding for New York State’s HIV/AIDS-related prevention and treatment programs. 

BHAE's data products include standard products such as the HIV/AIDS Annual Surveillance Report, which is available on the NYSDOH web site, and custom reports prepared for a wide variety of requesters such as local health departments, providers and community groups.

Recent BHAE's special projects have used surveillance data for projections of the number of people living with HIV/AIDS by age in NYS through 2025, timing of entry into care, and continuity care using laboratory data. Matches of the HIV/AIDS Registry with hepatitis and tuberculosis registries and Medicaid beneficiary data have been performed to assist in planning service provision for singly and multiply-infected persons.

Other BHAE programs include Enhanced Perinatal Surveillance, under which HIV-exposed infants and their mothers are followed annually through follow-up diagnostic testing and medical record review; HIV seroprevalence monitoring through delinked study among inmates entering NYS prison system; HIV Incidence Surveillance to identify and project new infections; and the Behavioral Surveillance project, which is part of a multi-state personal risk behavior interview survey of people at high risk for HIV.

Contact:

Bridget J. Anderson, Ph.D
Director, Bureau of HIV/AIDS Epidemiology
Division of Epidemiology, Evaluation and Research
(518) 474-4284
bja03@health.state.ny.us

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STD Surveillance and Data Management

The Bureau of STD Prevention and Epidemiology's (BSTDPE) Surveillance and Data Management Unit (SDMU) collects and maintains a variety of data including STD morbidity case reports and case management data and supports the Bureau's Technical Assistance Unit, the Bureau of HIV/STD Field Services, and local health departments (LHD) by identifying emerging problems, describing geographic and temporal trends in disease occurrence, and providing information necessary to develop and implement strategies for disease control and prevention.  These data are also used to evaluate program activities including existing regulations, field operations effectiveness, and screening programs.

SDMU coordinates surveillance for reportable STDs which is conducted through a combination of passive, active, and laboratory based reporting for the 57 Upstate New York counties outside of New York City. These data are maintained using the Department’s Internet-based Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS), the Communicable Disease Electronic Surveillance System (CDESS) for morbidity case reporting, and an electronic syphilis serology registry.  Case management and partner services data are maintained in the CDESS Management Information System (CDESS-MIS); SDMU collects, data enters, and stores these records for all 57 Upstate counties. SDMU provides training and technical assistance to data systems users, oversees and promotes laboratory reporting for STDs, and works closely with LHD and Regional Offices to validate collected data. Ad hoc requests for data are completed upon request.

SDMU operates the Interstate Communication and Coordination Relay (ICCR) desk which facilitates the transmission of STD intervention information among project areas, including National and Canadian STD control programs. The ICCR significantly contributes to STD control efforts by ensuring intervention services are not hindered by geographical boundaries.  

Morbidity data are summarized annually and disseminated in the Annual STD Statistical Abstract. The Annual Abstract presents reported cases frequencies and rates for New York State and New York City by disease, county, gender, and age. SDMU works with other disease control programs in NYSDOH as well as external partners to conduct independent research.  Study results are presented at national conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals

Contact:

Suzanne Beck
Surveillance Manager, Bureau of STD Prevention and Epidemiology
Division of Epidemiology, Evaulation and Research
(518) 474-3598
seb04@health.state.ny.us

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Behavioral Surveillance Projects

National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System

The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) system is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-sponsored, cross-sectional study of people at high risk for HIV in selected cities. In New York State, NHBS is conducted by the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Epidemiology (BHAE) with a geographic focus in Nassau and Suffolk Counties (Long Island). The health survey is implemented in annual rotating cycles among men who have sex with men, heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV, and injection drug users.  BHAE collects timely, comprehensive information about sexual and drug use risk behaviors, HIV testing histories, and exposure to and use of HIV prevention services.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) collaborates with a formative research consultant to obtain contextual socio-demographic information on the target population prior to full-scale implementation.  BHAE also collaborates with community agencies in Long Island to administer day-to-day project activities.  As such, BHAE has developed working relationships with traditional and non-traditional HIV prevention partners with strong ties to the populations of interest.

All data are collected anonymously; a core interview, questions of local interest, and an HIV test comprise the health survey.  To ensure that local issues are adequately addressed, the behavioral team collaborates with AIDS Institute Division of HIV/STD/Hep C Prevention staff, the Bureau of STD Prevention and Epidemiology, and the Office for Program Evaluation and Research to develop cycle specific local questions.  Data are shared at national conferences and with state and local partners via PPG meetings, reports, and newsletters (available on the NYSDOH public website).  NHBS data are used to develop and direct the evaluation of national and local HIV prevention services and programs including targeted testing and syringe exchange programs.

Contact:

Bridget J. Anderson, Ph.D
Director, Bureau of HIV/AIDS Epidemiology
Division of Epidemiology, Evaluation and Research
(518) 474-4284
bja03@health.state.ny.us

STD-Related Behavioral Surveillance

In addition, the Bureau of STD Prevention and Epidemiology (BSTDPE) conducts behavioral surveillance as a requirement under its CDC funding.   Several sources of primary and secondary data are used to understand risk behaviors in: a) groups at higher risk of STDs, b) localities with higher STD rates, and c) the general population. A primary strategy for general population behavioral surveillance has been inclusion of a state-added sexual behavior module on the annual statewide Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey, coordinated with the NYSDOH Division of Chronic Disease Prevention. BSTDPE has alternated questions by year (2002-2012) in order to collect data on a range of sexual behavior trends (e.g., # of sexual partners, partners other than main partner, condom use, patient experience with provider sexual history taking on routine visits), on STD awareness (e.g., STD/HIV interaction, perception of background risk of STDs among people their age) and STD-related attitudes (e.g., perceived need for and community attitudes towards public STD education in their locality).  A series of data briefs is in development, as these behavioral surveillance data provide useful information for prevention planning.

Contact:

Rosalind Thomas
Research Scientist
Bureau of STD PRevention and Epidemiology
Division of Epidemiology, Evaluation and Research
(518) 474-3598
rpt01@health.state.ny.us

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