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Evaluating STI and HIV Surveillance Data Linkage


  • Improving sharing and linkage of HIV and STI surveillance data.
  • Evaluation of technical assistance for linking HIV and STI data.
  • Results are forthcoming.
The Challenge

Health departments collect surveillance data on individuals with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. However, STI and HIV departments often have policies and practices impeding data sharing. Sharing and linking the data can help identify people infected with HIV and STIs and ensure access to treatment. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched a three-year technical assistance (TA) initiative to improve health departments’ data sharing and linkage capacity. It could increase retention of people with HIV in health care and improve health outcomes.

The Approach

Abt, in partnership with the TA provider and the four participating health departments, is working to design, pilot, and conduct an evaluation over the course of the three-year TA initiative. Abt’s mixed-methods evaluation design uses both qualitative and quantitative approaches to assess the initiative’s impact on health departments’ ability to share, link, disseminate, and use HIV and STI surveillance data. Data collection activities include semi-structured interviews, document review, a data end-user survey, and collection of jurisdiction-level aggregated measures.

The Results

Using Abt’s extensive experience with the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau and mixed methods evaluations of TA initiatives, we are conducting a rigorous analysis to inform decision making. We also will disseminate products to promote replicability and share best practices. Results are forthcoming.