The HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Section (HAES) at the Georgia Department of Public Health, is responsible for managing the state HIV/AIDS surveillance system and conducting critical HIV/AIDS surveillance, investigation, and epidemiologic activities for the state of Georgia.
Surveillance of HIV/AIDS provides data critical to targeting the delivery of HIV prevention, care, and treatment. It also provides data to reflect the scope of the epidemic in Georgia, actively guides data-driven planning and resource allocation, as well as evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of prevention programs and care treatment services.
The HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Section reviews and analyzes reports from healthcare providers and laboratories regarding key statistics and combines information on AIDS cases, new HIV infections, modes of exposure by the population at risk for HIV infection, and behaviors and characteristics of people at high risk.
The State health department conducts these activities with expertise and legal authority while protecting the confidentiality of existing public health disease surveillance and reporting systems.
The HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Section is authorized under Georgia Surveillance Law (O.C.G.A. §31-12-1) to conduct notifiable disease surveillance of HIV and AIDS. Public health surveillance activities are not subject to HIPPA restrictions.
Georgia has a dual reporting system that legally requires HIV/AIDS reporting by both health care providers and laboratories (O.C.G.A. §31-12-2(b)). All health care providers diagnosing and/or providing care to a patient with HIV have the obligation to report them using the HIV/AIDS Case Report Form. Case report forms have to be completed within seven (7) days of diagnosing a patient with HIV and/or AIDS or within seven (7) days of assuming care of an HIV positive patient who is new to the provider, regardless of whether the patient has previously received care elsewhere. All laboratories certified and licensed by the State of Georgia are required to report laboratory test results indicative of HIV infection, such as positive Western Blot results, all detectable and undetectable viral loads, all CD4 counts, and all viral nucleotide sequence results.
Security and Confidentiality
All of the information collected by the HIV Epidemiology Section is held strictly confidential. The Section is physically located in a separately locked area of an access-controlled building. Only authorized State HIV Epidemiology staff can enter the area where the information is kept. The paper reports are stored in locked cabinets, and electronic data are saved to a dedicated server that is physically secured and not connected to the state network or the internet. HIV Epidemiology staff abides by strict federal guidelines that prohibit intentional disclosure of HIV/AIDS data and limit risk of accidental disclosure of confidential data. For more information, please review our Security and Confidentiality Guidelines Brochure (also below in Related Files).
- To monitor the HIV/AIDS epidemic over time.
- To monitor perinatal exposure to HIV/AIDS infection in infants.
- To monitor clinical outcomes of patients who receive care from randomly selected HIV care providers.
- To monitor behaviors associated with HIV transmission.
- To collect, analyze, interpret, and disseminate data on HIV/AIDS in a confidential and secure manner.
- To build HIV/AIDS epidemiology capacity in Georgia
- To provide HIV/AIDS epidemiologic support for planning and evaluation of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs.
- To collaborate with national, state, and local entities in program collaboration and service integration.
HIV Surveillance Teams
In Georgia, HIV/AIDS surveillance is divided into five main activities funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are:
Contact Us - Georgia HIV Surveillance Section
Fax: No Faxing Permited
Mailing address: Georgia Divison of Public Health, Epi Section
P.O. Box 2107
Atlanta, GA 30301
(Please Do NOT Write HIV or AIDS on Envelope)