The purpose of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance program is to monitor the HIV epidemic through HIV behavioral surveillance. The objectives of this program are to maintain an ongoing surveillance system to ascertain the prevalence of HIV risk behaviors and HIV infection among groups at high risk for acquiring HIV infection to use in developing and directing both local and national prevention services and programs. Data collection will rotate each year among men who have sex with men (MSM), injecting drug users (IDU), and heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV infection. NHBS is an anonymous, cross-sectional, multisite survey that utilizes a standardized questionnaire. Sampling and recruitment strategies will include venue based, time-space sampling and respondent driven sampling surveys. A minimum of 500 eligible participants each year/risk group will be enrolled. This system will assess risk behaviors and access to and utilization of HIV prevention programs. Voluntary testing for HIV infection will be conducted in order to assess HIV seroprevalence and incidence. National HIV Behavioral Surveillance will be expanded to include young MSM age 13-17. Two methods of recruitment, respondent driven sampling and venue based surveillance, will be piloted to determine the most effective method to recruit young MSM. Implementation of NHBS-Young MSM will strengthen the national capacity to monitor the HIV epidemic and improve the direction and evaluation of prevention efforts among young MSM. This program addresses the """"""""Healthy People 2020"""""""" focus area of: reducing the number of new AIDS cases among adolescent and adult men who have sex with men;increasing the proportion of sexually active persons who use condoms;and increasing the number of seropositive persons who know their serostatus. The program supports efforts to improve the health of populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STDs and TB by maximizing the health impact of public health services, reducing disease prevalence, and promoting health equity consistent with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. This program will provide an opportunity to capitalize on experience recruiting at-risk individuals from non-health care community settings using scientifically sound methodologies to maintain an ongoing system for surveillance of behaviors related to HIV acquisition. This will strengthen the capacity nationwide to monitor the HIV/AIDS epidemic, develop and implement effective HIV prevention interventions and evaluate prevention programs.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health will conduct HIV behavioral surveillance activities among young MSM. These activities will allow development and implementation of effective HIV prevention interventions and evaluation of prevention programs in this population. Reduction in the number of new HIV infections will hopefully be the end result.