BACKGROUND: the Italian National HIV Surveillance, instituted by the Ministerial Decree of March 31st, 2008, is based on 21 regional surveillance systems and adopts an essential data collection form with a definite data flow. The unification of HIV and AIDS surveillance systems and the implementation of an identical data collection form are priorities of the Italian National HIV/AIDS Action Plan 2017 (PNAIDS). OBJECTIVES: to describe the 21 regional HIV surveillance systems and to verify the feasibility of their unification. METHODS: in March 2017, a questionnaire containing 13 questions was sent to all the regional representatives of the 21 surveillance systems. The main questions were about timeliness, data flow, and quality of the system. The quality was measured through a subjective evaluation expressed by the regional referent through scores from 1 (minimum) to 10 (maximum) regarding four indicators (regional coverage, timeliness, correctness, and completeness of the data). RESULTS: more than half of the regional systems use a computerized data collection method. Some of these regions have not completely adapted to the data collection form contained in the Decree and other regions declare a undernotification of the system. The majority of the regions record a slight notification delay by the reporting centres. Some regions report gaps in the completeness of the data received by the reporting centres. CONCLUSIONS: the main strengths of the HIV surveillance system are computerization of the systems and slightly reporting delay. Regarding the quality of the regional systems and its data, the study reports a good self-evaluation. This study also showed useful indications to improve the national HIV surveillance system, such as the unification of HIV surveillance with the AIDS surveillance and the implementation of a unique national system, as suggested by guidelines of the PNAIDS 2017.
Regine, V., Pugliese, L., & Suligoi, B. (2018). Regional HIV Surveillance in Italy: a starting point for the future national system. Epidemiologia e prevenzione, 42(3-4), 235-242. https://doi.org/10.19191/EP18.3-4.P235.071