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Cover of Paediatric HIV Surveillance Among Infants and Children Less Than 18 Years of Age

Paediatric HIV Surveillance Among Infants and Children Less Than 18 Years of Age

Geneva: World Health Organization; .
ISBN-13: 978-92-4-150583-3

Structured Abstract


Global surveillance of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) is a joint effort of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/ AIDS (UNAIDS). The UNAIDS/WHO Working Group on Global HIV/AIDS and STI Surveillance, initiated in November 1996, is the main coordination and implementation mechanism for UNAIDS and WHO to compile the best information available and improve the quality of data needed for informed decision-making and planning at the national, regional and global levels.


Understanding the magnitude of the HIV epidemic is essential for planning, implementing and monitoring any program that attempts to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS. This is true for the paediatric HIV epidemic, for which prevention, care, and treatment efforts lag behind those implemented for adults.

Typically, the paediatric population is considered to be between 0 and 14 years of age. In this guide, we have included older children up to 18 years of age. In most countries, young people less than 18 years are considered minors. Often, modes of infection are different in adolescents than in younger children or infants.

This guideline provides approaches to measure the burden of paediatric HIV according to country-specific HIV epidemic contexts. It does not attempt to be comprehensive enough to cover all the issues related to paediatric HIV surveillance. Rather, it serves as a general reference. As “how-to” guides for surveillance data analysis and data use/dissemination are already available, such components will not be addressed in this guide. The guide cites additional materials and resources for further information on paediatric HIV surveillance and includes country examples.

Goal of this guideline:

The overall goal of this guideline is to help countries understand the HIV epidemic in paediatric populations less than 18 years of age. Paediatric HIV surveillance can be conducted routinely, either as:

  • specific, paediatric-focused activities, or
  • essential components of broader surveillance efforts

The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.

The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers' products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted, the names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.

All reasonable precautions have been taken by the World Health Organization to verify the information contained in this publication. However, the published material is being distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the material lies with the reader. In no event shall the World Health Organization be liable for damages arising from its use.

Copyright © World Health Organization 2013.

All rights reserved. Publications of the World Health Organization are available on the WHO web site ( or can be purchased from WHO Press, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland (tel.: +41 22 791 3264; fax: +41 22 791 4857; e-mail: tni.ohw@sredrokoob).

Requests for permission to reproduce or translate WHO publications –whether for sale or for non-commercial distribution– should be addressed to WHO Press through the WHO web site (

Bookshelf ID: NBK158973PMID: 24049866


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