WHO releases new ‘Consolidated strategic information guidelines for HIV in the health sector’ (11 May 2015)

The World Health Organization today released new guidelines recommending simplified indicators to measure the reach of HIV services, and the impact achieved at both the national and global levels.

The document entitled ‘Consolidated strategic information guidelines for HIV in the health sector’ was released at the 3rd HIV surveillance consultation starting today in Bangkok, Thailand.

Background information:

Strategic information: Information that is interpreted and used for planning and decision-making to improve the direction and focus of a programme. Relevant data may be derived from a wide variety of sources (for example, monitoring systems, evaluations, programme reviews, surveys and case studies) and should be analysed holistically and strategically to improve the direction of the programme.

Indicator: In the context of Monitoring & Evaluation, a quantitative or qualitative variable that provides a valid and reliable way to measure achievement, assess performance or reflect changes connected to an activity, project or programme. Indicators should come from clearly identified sources of data.

Health sector: The sector of society consisting of organized public and private health services, the policies and activities of government health departments and ministries, health-related NGOs and community groups, and professional associations including health promotion, disease prevention, diagnostic, treatment and care services.

90–90–90 Target:

    By 2020

    • 90% of all people living with HIV will have been diagnosed.

   • 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive antiretroviral therapy.

   • 90% of all people on antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

Three roles of HIV strategic information:

1. to understand the epidemic and the extent of change resulting from interventions;

2. to track and gauge the health sector’s response to HIV, particularly the health system inputs, intervention coverage, quality of services, and outcomes and impact;

3. to inform programme improvement, assuring quality and maximal return on resources invested and helping to identify bottlenecks and opportunities.

Intended audiences: The guide is intended primarily to serve the needs of national health sector staff engaged in the collection, analysis and use of HIV-related strategic information, including those who set up monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and those who use data to improve programmes.

It is also intended for stakeholders concerned with developing and analysing strategic information, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private-sector care providers, civil society and academic groups involved in teaching and research.

Key Messages:

The new consolidated guidelines recommend the use of 10 global indicators to collect information along the cascade of HIV care and treatment as a principal way to track epidemics and responses:

  1. Number of people living with HIV
  2. Domestic funding
  3. Coverage of prevention services
  4. Number of diagnosed people
  5. HIV care coverage
  6. Treatment coverage
  7. Treatment retention
  8. Viral suppression
  9. Number of HIV deaths
  10. Number of new infections

Why is this document important?

The new guidelines aim to help national decision-makers access all HIV strategic information essentials in one place.

Along with the top 10 global indicators, the guidelines offer 50 national indicators, to be selected by countries as the basis for their strategic information efforts. Previously, countries were required to collect information on more than 100 indicators to report on HIV programmes.

The focused indicator list promotes generation of better quality data to:

1. assess and improve services along the health sector cascade;

2. provide accountability for global reporting and the 90–90–90 targets;

3. link services along the cascade to outcomes and impact.

Useful Links:

Link to the news release:


Link to the Guideline document:


Link to the infographic (PDF):


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