he Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) HIV Surveillance and Prevention programs are requesting funds in the amount of $1,091,178.00 for Prevention and $328,428.00 for Surveillance.
The HIV disease continues to have an impact on the health and well-being of Delawareans. As of July 2016, roughly 6,000 individuals infected with HIV have been reported to the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). Although Delaware is the second smallest state and has a population well under one million, we consistently rank in the top 10 among the 50 States and the District of Columbia in newly reported AIDS cases annually (per 100,000 population). To combat this, DPH relies on an experienced HIV Surveillance and Prevention staff consisting of nine personnel working in two separate, but integrated programs. Case Surveillance focuses its efforts on monitoring HIV infection, investigating HIV cases, monitoring perinatal exposures and identifying HIV clusters, and producing geocoded data and maps to visually depict the HIV epidemic in Delaware and to highlight social determinants that effect the likelihood of being exposed to HIV. the This information is used to update our data systems (eHARS) with critical demographic, risk and medical treatment information which is analyzed to provide a valuable data picture to HIV Prevention, the Ryan White program, and community planning groups for resource allocation and program planning. While Prevention through its various collaborations with a host of organizations, will offer a variety of services to those identified with HIV and their partners including rapid HIV testing, PrEP and couples counseling.
HIV Prevention will also provide HIV rapid testing at several high-prevalence areas of Western Sussex County, targeting the specific zip codes. This new initiative concentrates on counseling, testing and referral services for those that have never been tested for HIV or are at high risk and have not been tested within 12 months. Reports of widespread injecting drug use have plagued Western Sussex County in recent months. Surveillance data also shows that clients testing positive for HIV in this part of our State are already AIDS-defined at intake.
To strengthen Delaware’s capacity to monitor the epidemic in the coming years, surveillance staff will develop a process for integration of molecular HIV data to increase performance monitoring of both external reporting sources and internal data collection, will continue to increase the use of geocoding in reporting HIV data to identify areas of concern and possible clusters to our surveillance system, will collaborate with the DPH Prevention program to increase reporting positive and through the analysis of data, increase the number of clients that are returned to care.