CDC’S National HIV Surveillance System is the primary source for monitoring HIV trends in the United States. As part of their mission of preventing HIV infection and reducing HIV-related illness and death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is responsible for collecting HIV medical information to from 54 US jurisdictions (50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and New York City) and 4 U.S. dependent areas (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau). Any compromise of the HIV data would greatly affect the ability of health departments to effectively interact with infected or high-risk individuals in the continued collection of personal health data and high-risk behaviors. Because of this, no identifying information is sent or maintained at the CDC, but the underlying health data must be sent to the CDC for analysis.
Distributed System: The enhanced HIV/AIDS Reporting System (eHARS) is the reporting software built to collect HIV medical data. To ensure identifying information is not sent to CDC, the eHARS software is deployed at the 54 jurisdictions (50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and New York City), with each location installing a local copy of the code. An additional installation is used to store HIV surveillance data reported to CDC (primarily on paper) by four U.S. dependent areas (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau).
Data Transfer: The eHARS site users in the jurisdictions collect HIV patient data in their local instance of eHARS, then send deidentified data to the CDC monthly. SeKON modernized the ADT (Automated Data Transfer) tool to ensure the timely and secure transfer of the data. The modernized ADT system is deployed in the Azure Cloud and now allows site level eHARS user to directly load their monthly transfers.
Support and code deployment: SeKON’s team assists jurisdictions with installations, application support, and data quality. The eHARS product is installed and updated through an InstallShield executable and the eHARS team provides a top tier level of user support both for the maintenance and troubleshooting of application-level problems, and the deep investigation of data quality concerns found in the eHARS datasets.
CDC has collected over 20 years of HIV medical data with very high quality. US jurisdictions successfully report de-identified data to CDC each month and that information from around the country is analyzed to determine who is being affected and why. Surveillance data is analyzed, and disseminates information about new and existing cases of HIV infection (including AIDS). The ultimate surveillance goal is a nationwide system that combines information on HIV infection, disease progression, and behaviors and characteristics of people at high risk. By meeting this goal, CDC can direct HIV prevention funding to where it is needed the most.