Enhancing Government of Pakistan capacity in second generation surveillance of HIV
From 2003 to 2012 Canada and Pakistan collaborated to build a system and capacity for second generation surveillance of HIV in Pakistan. Second generation surveillance is systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of information that can then be used to track and describe changes in an HIV epidemic over time. Information about trends in the spread of HIV- if and by how much the HIV infections are increasing or decreasing, and which populations are affected -helps to monitor the epidemic and provide information to improve prevention.
The HIV/AIDS Surveillance Project or HASP piloted a system for and conducted four surveillance rounds among key populations at risk of HIV in Pakistan – in Pakistan these are people who inject drugs, female sex workers, male sex workers and Hijira or transgender sex workers. Surveillance rounds began with in-depth mapping to estimate the sizes and locations of the key populations. Surveillance integrated an in-depth behavioural questionnaire with biological testing for HIV. Gender and rights issues were mainstreamed at all stages of the research cycle. HASP also piloted antenatal surveillance in Pakistan, introduced dried blood spot testing, developed training manuals for surveillance and established data control units.
HASP was made possible through financial and technical support from the Canadian International Development Agency and the Public Health agency of Canada. The project was executed by a consortium of Agriteam Consulting Canada, The University of Manitoba Centre of Global Public Health and ProAction: Partners for Community Health. HASP reports and training materials are a rich resource for HIV surveillance programmes.