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Unit 34: HIV/AIDS, STI and Blood-borne Infections

Head:
Viviane Bremer
Deputy:
Barbara Gunsenheimer-Barmeyer

The most important aim of unit 34 is to gain comprehensive epidemiological data on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI), viral hepatitis and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in order to better understand the epidemiology of these infections. This data is used to develop, adapt or evaluate prevention strategies and to produce recommendations for diagnosis and patient care.

Tasks

Surveillance

HIV and syphilis diagnoses are directly reported to the RKI in accordance with the Infection Protection Act. Notifications of HBV and HCV are transmitted via local public health departments and regional health authorities to the RKI. In addition, the unit 34 is in charge to analyse and evaluate data on infection markers in blood donors according to the Transfusion Act. Unit 34 maintains the voluntary AIDS registry and collects data from laboratories on the number of performed chlamydia tests and infections.

Research

Information from notification data is supplemented by data from clinical-microbiological studies. Two cohort studies are carried out to collect longitudinal data concerning the clinical course and treatment of HIV infection. The proportions of incident HIV infections are determined in different groups, allowing a closer insight into the dynamics of the HIV epidemic. Data on and isolates of resistant gonococci are collected through a gonococcal resistance laboratory network.

We perform integrated biological and behavioral surveillance by connecting data on prevalence of certain infectious diseases in a population with data on sexual behavior. These studies are carried out among men who have sex with men, i.v. drug users, sex workers and migrant populations.

In addition, we analyse secondary datasets (e.g. health insurance data) regarding HIV and HCV therapy or the uptake of HIV and STI testing. This data allows us to interpret the results from epidemiological studies in the context of the German health care system.

Other projects include the development and establishment of innovative data collection and analysis methods, such as estimating new HIV infections by mathematical modelling, or creating access to hard to reach groups such as sex workers and i.v. drug users.

Further activities and tasks

  • Investigation of STI outbreaks
  • Development of surveillance tools
  • Participation in the design and the realisation of national, European and international surveillance and research networks in the field of HIV/AIDS, STI and hepatitis
  • Participation in the further development of prevention concepts for HIV/AIDS, STI and hepatitis B and C in close cooperation with the Federal Centre for Health Education, expert societies and non-governmental organisations
  • Representation of the RKI in consensus committees charged with the formulation of recommendations both for treatment and for prophylaxis

Date: 09.02.2017