Interim WHO clinical staging of HIV / AIDS and HIV / AIDS case definitions for surveillance. African region.
With a view to facilitating the scale-up of access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the African Region the present document outlines recent revisions made by WHO to the clinical staging of HIV/AIDS and to case definitions for HIV/AIDS disease surveillance. These interim guidelines are based on an international drafting meeting held in Saas Fee in June 2004 and on recommendations made by experts from African countries at a meeting held in Nairobi in December of the same year. The revisions to the clinical staging target professionals ranging from senior consultants in teaching and referral hospitals to surveillance officers and first-level health care providers, all of whom have important roles in caring for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA), including children. It is proposed that countries review, adapt and repackage the guidelines as appropriate for specific tasks at different levels of health service delivery. It is hoped that national HIV/ AIDS programmes in African countries will thus be assisted to develop, revise or strengthen their ART guidelines, patient monitoring and surveillance efforts. The interim clinical staging and revised definitions for surveillance are currently being reviewed in the other WHO regions and will be finalized at a global meeting to be held in September 2005. (excerpt)