HIV/AIDS Data Changes 2010
Before 2009, HIV and AIDS case information was stored in 13 individual HIV/AIDS reporting systems (HARS). These systems are located in local and regional health departments throughout the state. In 2009, CDC deployed the new enhanced electronic HIV/AIDS reporting system (eHARS) in Texas. This new system is a centralized document-based reporting system, it enables greater capabilities for managing and monitoring HIV/AIDS surveillance data. The implementation of this new system required thorough cleaning of the 13 databases. After de-duplication of the data they were uploaded into the new system in May 2009.
These cleaning efforts resulted in the removal of approximately 1,500 cases. This was due, in large part, to case duplication within the state of Texas and with other states. During this cleaning process, many cases had information updated (such as death status) that may affect the analysis of HIV/AIDS data. The cleaning of the HIV/AIDS surveillance data resulted in much more accurate and complete HIV/AIDS data.
To best meet the needs of HIV/AIDS data users, the TB/HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch and HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch changed the way HIV/AIDS data analyses are produced and reported. Starting with 2009 HIV/STD data, data reported reflects the date a case was diagnosed with HIV and not the date the case was reported. The date of report is the date on which the HIV/AIDS case was first entered into the HIV/AIDS surveillance system. The date of diagnosis is the date when a case was first diagnosed by a health professional. The TB/HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch and HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch use the diagnosis date in HIV/AIDS analysis to best reflect the HIV epidemic in Texas. To ensure capturing all cases, the two disease branches will not produce any data analysis until at least 6 months after the close of a year.
While the two disease branches attempt to attain information on risk behaviors for determining the mode of exposure, there are circumstances that prevent or delay the collection of this information. To compensate for this, risk data are imputed using cases with similar characteristics to adjust for unknown mode of exposure.
The TB/HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch and HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch acknowledge the need for timely HIV/AIDS data but have to balance that need with the need for data that is complete and accurate. The year of diagnosis is used for surveillance reports, data requests, and the Epidemiologic Profiles. They provide consistency in the data reporting format for all data dissemination activities.