Ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December, the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) has released today a new toolkit offering countries the latest guidance on monitoring infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis (B,C), among people who inject drugs (PWID) (1). The toolkit is designed to help health professionals improve their monitoring practice in order to reduce the burden of disease in this vulnerable group and improve the coverage and quality of services delivered.
Prepared closely with experts, country representatives and international and EU agencies (2), the toolkit updates earlier guidance (3), and presents new monitoring methods and indicators in a more flexible and user-friendly format. It is currently composed of three modules:
Preventing and controlling infectious diseases among PWID has been the focus of a series of EMCDDA–ECDC meetings held this autumn (5). The two agencies have also worked together on an updated joint risk assessment on HIV (6) and guidance on the Prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs (2011)(7).
(1) More on the three-module toolkit and on World AIDS Day.
(2) Including: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC); UNAIDS; World Health Organization (WHO).
(3) EMCDDA (2006), ‘Protocol for the implementation of the EMCDDA key indicator drug-related infectious diseases (DRID)’, draft version 6 October 2006, EMCDDA, Lisbon).
(4) Second generation surveillance for HIV/AIDS is defined as ‘the regular, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of information for use in tracking and describing changes in the HIV/AIDS epidemic over time.’
(5) EMCDDA DRID–DRD meeting, 16–18 October, Lisbon; EMCDDA meeting for candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU, 29–30 October, Sarajevo; ECDC–EMCDDA meeting for experts from Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden, 18–19 November, Bucharest; EMCDDA–ECDC meeting for experts from Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, 21–22 November, Tallinn.
(6) Eurosurveillance rapid communication.
(7) HIV in injecting drug users in the EU/EEA, following a reported increase of cases in Greece and Romania
ECDC and EMCDDA guidance. Prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs