ECDC has published Understanding national epidemics: new ECDC modelling tool helps to estimate HIV incidence. Click or tap through to download the tool. The summary:
How many people are getting infected with HIV, how many are being missed or not being reported and how many should be on treatment? ECDC’s HIV modelling tool helps to understand local HIV epidemics by providing better estimates based on surveillance data.
The ECDC HIV Modelling Tool was developed in collaboration with a team of international experts and is now available for download as a desktop application. With this new tool, epidemiologists, HIV programme managers, public health professionals as well as researchers will be able to calculate the estimated HIV incidence in a given population which is different to the number of newly reported cases collected in the surveillance systems.
This application supports the planning, implementation and evaluation of national HIV prevention and treatment programmes and can inform the development of new strategies that can reduce the burden of the HIV epidemic on a national and local level.
The ECDC HIV modelling tool allows estimation of:
• the number of people living with HIV, including those not yet diagnosed;
• the annual number of new HIV infections;
• the average time between infection and diagnosis;
• the number of people in need of treatment according to CD4 cell counts.
To use the tool and to model the outputs, users have to apply specific epidemiological variables from the available HIV surveillance data, such as annual number of persons diagnosed with HIV and CD4 cell count at diagnosis. The tool will then produce estimates according to the Incidence method and the London method, giving options for infectious disease epidemiologists to apply them according to their local or national data situation.
Understanding the epidemic
Effective HIV programmes rely on the understanding of the epidemic at local and national level and should aim at reaching those most at risk of infection. To identify those at risk and direct prevention efforts, a review of surveillance and other relevant data – including information on undiagnosed HIV and late HIV diagnosis – helps to recognise patterns and prevent new HIV infections.