|Epidemiological Fact Sheet on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections: Latvia (UNAIDS, 2000, 12 p.)|
Global Surveillance of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a joint effort of WHO and UNAIDS. The UNAIDS/WHO Working Group on Global HIV/AIDS and STI Surveillance, initiated in November 1996, guides respective activities. The primary objective of the working group is to strengthen national, regional and global structures and networks for improved monitoring and surveillance of HIV/AIDS and STIs. For this purpose, the working group collaborates closely with national AIDS programmes and a number of national and international experts and institutions. The goal of this collaboration is to compile the best information available and to improve the quality of data needed for informed decision-making and planning at national, regional and global levels. The Epidemiological Fact Sheets are one of the products of this close and fruitful collaboration across the globe.
The working group and its partners have established a framework standardizing the collection of data deemed important for a thorough understanding of the current status and trends of the epidemic, as well as patterns of risk and vulnerability in the population. Within this framework, the Fact Sheets collate the most recent country-specific data on HIV/AIDS prevalence and incidence, together with information on behaviours (e.g casual sex and condom use) which can spur or stem the transmission of HIV.
Not unexpectedly, information on all of the agreed-upon indicators was not available for many countries in 1999. However, these updated Fact Sheets do contain a wealth of information which allows identification of strengths in currently existing programmes and comparisons between countries and regions. The Fact Sheets may also be instrumental in identifying potential partners when planning and implementing improved surveillance systems.
The fact sheets can be only as good as information made available to the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group on Global HIV/AIDS and STI Surveillance. Therefore, the working group would like to encourage all programme managers as well as national and international experts to communicate additional information to the working group whenever such information becomes available. The working group also welcomes any suggestions for additional indicators or information proven to be useful in national or international decision-making and planning.