HIV–AIDS Data Hub Launched in ApacOne–stop Online
It could easily monitor interventions for the right groups at the right places, given the concentrated nature of HIV and AIDS in Asia and the Pacific
Manila: The first–ever one–stop online resource hub providing comprehensive and easy–to–access HIV and AIDS data in Asia and the Pacific has been launched.
The ‘Evidence to Action Initiative’ provides user–friendly data on most vulnerable population groups, including women, children and young people, disaggregated by age and sex.
The initiative has been developed in partnership between the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the UN Joint Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
It also probes the provincial and district–level situation where data are available, and provides updates on the prevalence, behaviours and national responses.
“This data hub initiative is important to help us understand the AIDS epidemic in Asia–Pacific, which can greatly facilitate decision–making by national leaders,” ADB’s Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Vice President Ursula Schaefer–Preuss said.
The data hub can easily monitor interventions for the right groups at the right places, given the concentrated nature of HIV and AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, Schaefer–Preuss said.
The AIDS epidemic in Asia and the Pacific is attributed to unprotected paid sex and sexual contact between men with other men, and injecting drug use with shared needles, an ADB release said.
Among the most–at–risk populations in Asia, although HIV is largely concentrated in injecting drug users and sex workers and their clients, men who buy sex are becoming a key driver of Asia’s HIV epidemics, the release said.
“The hub and all of the data help substantiate a major call by the Asia AIDS Commission to prioritise interventions on those most–at–risk, and achieve a high level of service coverage and behavioural change to halt the spread of HIV in the most cost–effective way,” UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia–Pacific Director Prasada Rao said.
He also noted that HIV data collection has improved over the past decade. “But the system and capacity to analyse the information still pose a challenge to many countries in the region,” Rao added.
The website carries multiple sources of data and reports, PowerPoint presentations and reviews on the HIV and AIDS situation in 24 countries and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
“The data hub ensures wide and equal access to evidence by stakeholders involved in national and localised responses to HIV and AIDS,” Unicef’s Regional Director Anupama Rao Singh said.
“The data hub provides a nexus of data and information that can help us know our epidemics better. They will be useful not only in tracking HIV but also other MDGs, including primary health care and social determinants of HIV and the integrated response needed to multiply survival and development outcomes,” Singh said.
Equipped with the latest HIV statistics, the hub’s information comprises all of the internationally–accepted standardised indicators ranging from HIV prevalence and Condom use rate to knowledge and country specific indicators.
“The scale–up towards universal access, especially for the most vulnerable groups in Asia–Pacific, require rapid data collection and strong analysis in the countries,” WHO’s Regional Director Omi Shigeru said.
What users can access from the data hub?
–Graphs and tables showing country analyses of the HIV trend, vulnerability, knowledge risk behaviour, national responses and socio–economic impact
–Review of the HIV situation and response in each country
–Most recent HIV and AIDS data covering all aspects of the epidemic and response on Excel spreadsheets
–Key data issues and suggestions for improvement based on a review of all data collated
–Links to published resources, such as national strategic plans, surveillance reports, population–based surveys and specific studies
In addition, users can search the database using keywords, send queries on HIV and AIDS data, and provide new data sources.
Sunday, Feb 26th
Last update:05:44:44 AM IST