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San Francisco Health Network

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HIV/AIDS Programs & Research

Program Description

The San Francisco Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Section consists of two units: The HIV Surveillance Unit, and HIV Seroepidemiolgy Unit. The goal of the section is to provide HIV statistics, epidemiology, and emerging trends of the San Francisco HIV epidemic.

Government mandates apportion funding for prevention planning and medical and social services for HIV/AIDS patients to local jurisdictions on the basis of the number of reported HIV/AIDS cases for that area. The goals of the HIV Surveillance Unit are to monitor the incidence and prevalence of persons with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco and to follow the government mandates in an efficient, accurate, timely and community driven manner. The Surveillance Unit tracks the morbidity and mortality of persons with HIV/AIDS, provides crucial data to monitor current and emerging trends in HIV transmission, characterize recent infections, and target prevention resources in San Francisco.

The Surveillance Unit provides an epidemiological window into the local HIV epidemic, allowing public health officials to more effectively and completely monitor the epidemic, allocate resources, and to plan and implement programs, particularly prevention programs. The surveillance program helps to identify areas of focus for persons with HIV/AIDS, and for community needs, thereby helping guide prevention and care activities and resources to the people and populations at risk for HIV and/or in need of HIV/AIDS services.

The goals of the HIV Seroepidmiology Unit are to assess the current level or burden of HIV infection among populations at risk, to monitor trends in transmission, to detect nascent sub-epidemics, and to find empirical evidence of the impact of community-wide prevention programs. HIV seroprevalence and seroincidence data contribute to our understanding of the epidemiology of HIV, the formation of sound health policy, the appropriate allocation of resources, and the planning of programs for the primary and secondary prevention of infection.

Notice to Health Care Providers and Others Responsible for Disease Reporting: California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Section 2500 and Section 2643.5 require that all diagnosed cases of AIDS and HIV as defined by CDC must be reported within seven (7) days to the Health Officer. To obtain information on the CDC HIV/AIDS case definition or reporting requirements, to obtain case report forms, or to report a case, contact the HIV Surveillance Unit at (415) 554-9050. All reports are confidential.