HIV Surveillance and Epidemiology

    HIV Surveillance Office > Case-based Surveillance

  - Summary table on the updated HIV/AIDS situation
  - STD/AIDS Update - a quarterly report

The HIV / AIDS voluntary reporting has been in place as a case-based HIV/AIDS surveillance [1] system since 1984. It is a two-part programme, namely voluntary reporting by doctors and laboratory reporting. Both physicians and laboratories providing confirmatory HIV tests are encouraged to report to the Department of Health all cases of HIV/AIDS. Data collected through the two systems are collected, matched and analysed on a quarterly basis.

Under this reporting system, medical doctors are encouraged to supply information of newly diagnosed HIV infections and/or AIDS to the AIDS Unit of the Department of Health. A standard form (DH2293) is used to systematically collect details such as the demographic characteristics, suspected routes of transmission, clinical status, and AIDS defining illnesses of the infected. Each reported case is assigned a unique code to facilitate subsequent follow up of complications.

The second source of data is that obtained through laboratory reporting, which has been started since 1985. The laboratories that provide confirmatory HIV antibody tests on voluntary basis submit reports of the infected. Currently, they are the Virus Unit of the Department of Health, QEH, and PWH and the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service in which all belong to the public sector.

This is an anonymous system and all data collected is treated in strict confidence. Information obtained from the system is crucial for understanding the HIV epidemiology in Hong Kong and is used for global analysis only. The quarterly statistics can be obtained at this Virtual AIDS Office.

The HIV/AIDS report form (DH2293) is designed to facilitate reporting by physicians who encounter any patient with HIV/AIDS. Physicians are also encouraged to update the status of the previously reported cases when appropriate using the same form. Completed forms should be sealed and mailed to:

Department of Health
Centre for Health Protection
Special Preventive Programme
(Attn:Consultant Physician)
2/F Wang Tau Hom Jockey Club Clinic
200 Junction Road East
Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

[1] What is disease surveillance?

The surveillance of a communicable disease is fundamental for disease prevention and control. Surveillance is defined as the "ongoing systematic collection, collation, analysis and interpretation of data; and the dissemination of information to those who need to know in order that action may be taken".

Surveillance case definition for AIDS in Hong Kong

For surveillance purpose, AIDS is defined if an HIV infected person is diagnosed with one or more of the clinical conditions indicative of defects in cell mediated immunity. These AIDS-defining illness laid down by the US Centres for Disease Control and prevention is widely used worldwide. There is modification from the CDC's approach in that (a) CD4 cells counts alone are not used for defining AIDS. (b) pulmonary tuberculosis is not an AIDS-defining illness unless one's CD4 count is lower than 200/ul, and (c) Penicillium marnffei is included as an AIDS-defining condition.