SHAS Final Report (Released October 2004)
Surveillance information for HIV infection and AIDS is currently obtained on a national level through the HIV/AIDS Reporting System (HARS). This surveillance system is the result of collaboration between local and state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Categories of information currently collected from case reports include basic demographic data, modes of exposure to HIV, and clinical diagnoses. Information obtained from HARS is used to monitor the epidemic and to assist in the development of programs to prevent further HIV transmission.
Increasingly, health agencies need information about HIV/AIDS cases that HIV/AIDS surveillance data cannot provide. These questions reflect expanding knowledge about HIV-infection and AIDS, increased attention to minority health issues, concerns about the link between HIV infection and illicit drug use (both injecting and non-injecting), sexual behaviors that increase transmission of HIV infection, patterns of health care use by person infected with severe HIV disease, and the health and social status of children born to women with AIDS/HIV infection. To obtain more detailed information and to answer these questions, the SHAS Project was developed in 1990 in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and eleven local and state health departments.
- To obtain additional descriptive information on persons with newly reported cases of HIV infection or AIDS that will supplement information routinely collected through national HIV and AIDS surveillance.
- To improve our understanding of sexual and drug-using behaviors; health care access; minority issues; utilization and adherence to therapies; reproductive history and children's health of women with HIV infection or AIDS; geographic differences; and disability as related to HIV infection.
The SHAS Project is a cross-sectional interview study. Information is collected from persons reported to state or local health departments as having HIV infection or AIDS using a standardized questionnaire administered by trained interviewers. The questionnaire consists of the topics listed above. These data will be obtained as a supplement to the information collected from routine HIV/AIDS surveillance case investigations.
Amy Wohl, Ph.D.
Denise Fearman-Johnson, M.P.H.