Jumping AHEAD: Understanding the EHE Indicator Data
If the United States hopes to reach the goal of reducing new HIV transmissions by at least 90% by 2030, as envisioned by the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative (EHE), it is imperative that we be able to track and measure progress toward that goal.
To that end, in August 2020, HIV.gov is launching AHEAD, America’s HIV Epidemic Analysis Dashboard. The Dashboard is designed to track the nation’s collective progress towards the EHE goals and will allow researchers, policy makers, physicians, governments, and PLHIV to use data to implement a more coordinated response across the local, state, and federal levels.
AHEAD will display data on the six EHE indicators used by the federal government to track progress toward reaching the EHE goals. The federal government has defined these six indicators:
• HIV Incidence: The estimated number of new HIV infections in a given year.
• Knowledge of HIV status: The estimated percentage of people with HIV who have received an HIV diagnosis.
• HIV Diagnoses: The number of people with HIV diagnosed in a given year confirmed by laboratory or clinical evidence.
• Linkage to HIV medical care: The percentage of people with HIV diagnosed in a given year who have received medical care for their HIV infection within one month of diagnosis.
• Viral suppression: The percentage of people living with diagnosed HIV infection in a given year who have an amount of HIV that is less than 200 copies per milliliter of blood.
• PrEP coverage: The estimated percentage of individuals with indications for PrEP classified as having been prescribed PrEP.
The federal government has defined these indicators in order to create a common understanding for use in comparison, analytics, and future planning, based on information reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS). Jurisdictions are encouraged to review these definitions and to align their definitions and service systems to help progress toward the targets and goals.
AHEAD will graphically visualize data on the six EHE HIV indicators for the fifty-seven jurisdictions prioritized in the federal initiative. These areas include forty-eight counties, Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, where more than 50% of new HIV diagnoses occurred in 2016 and 2017, and seven states with a substantial number of new HIV diagnoses in rural areas.
For more information on the launch of AHEAD and to sign up for updates from HIV.gov, log on to: www.hiv.gov.
—Reporting by Hank Trout
Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.