Since 2008, the HIV and AIDS Data Hub has been providing decision-makers and experts with high quality, accessible and up-to-date data on HIV in Asia and the Pacific. Working with many regional and national partners, we compile, update and analyse evidence on the HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific. In this region, HIV is clustered and concentrated among specific sub-populations, as well as within certain geographical areas in countries, hence the Data Hub prominently profiles subnational and key populations at higher risk data. Effective policies and interventions require the best available evidence, which is what the Data Hub aims to provide in one convenient website.
A one-stop-shop for HIV and AIDS data in Asia-Pacific
The regional database, data analysis team, and website with data products are three major aspects comprising the ‘Data Hub’.
Data are collected by scanning published literature and national HIV websites, and from a network of country and regional partners. Data are vetted by the team for accuracy and valid methods and conclusions before being included in the regional database.
The Data Hub regional database now has over 96 000 data points collected from over 1 000 sources for 1 500 indicators (November 2012). The team is developing an easy-to-use database, accessible to governments, the public, researchers, civil society, the United Nations and donors, through the website, containing data on HIV knowledge and vulnerability, risk behaviours, epidemiology, HIV and AIDS financing, the impact of the epidemic and responses to it.
The Data Hub team responds specifically to regional needs by compiling the epidemic and response-related data on Asian countries and Pacific Island Countries and Territories, and by data syntheses and analyses of the collected data to generate useful strategic information products (such as data sheets, overview in slides, maps and reviews organized by country or thematic area) for advocacy and evidence-based responses to the HIV epidemic. The data products are readily available on the website and downloadable, but are also increasingly commissioned through direct communications with partners.
The web portal is the only regional site of its kind, with a large repository of data on 26 countries. The Data Hub website has a comprehensive online reference library with about 3000 downloadable references, including national strategic plans, surveillance reports, population-based surveys, tools and guidelines.
The Data Hub works to:
- collate, analyse, use and share HIV data at various levels (sub-national, national, regional and global) and on all major indicators of HIV risk, HIV knowledge and vulnerability, prevalence, infection estimates, economics of AIDS and national responses in 24 Asian and 22 Pacific countries and territories, including data disaggregated by age and sex;
- post updated data on the Data Hub website and disseminate it to over 3000 subscribers within the region through data alerts, e-Newsflash, RSS feeds and social networks Facebook and Twitter;
- collaborate with stakeholders to monitor the AIDS epidemic, identify data gaps, undertake analyses and generate further knowledge of new risks and trends; and
- increase coordination, share more and better data, identify data gaps and foster closer cooperation on HIV and AIDS in the region by establishing an “ecosystem” of partners that can mutually benefit from participating in and using the Data Hub.
Our implementing partners are the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB); the Data Hub’s technical partner is the World Health Organization (WHO). The UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific (RSTAP) hosts the Data Hub in Bangkok, Thailand.
Background and future
In 2005, several organizations working on HIV and AIDS in Asia and the Pacific began seeing the need to build a regional database with a concentration of HIV and AIDS data within a small, specially dedicated structure. By 2008, a more formal body, known as the Data Hub, launched its web site, guided by a 15-member Science and Technical Advisory Group.
The Data Hub was then one component of the 'Evidence-based Advocacy for Action' project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the Asian Development Bank. The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) was one of the academic institutions with Prince Mahidol University (Thailand) that were associated with the Data Hub’s initial operations.
In 2011, a management review was undertaken, which issued several recommendations for the Data Hub’s future, to be implemented according to a three-year business plan. One of the recommendations was that the Data Hub, which until then was located at the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, should be hosted by UNAIDS at the Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. [click here to download Management review summary]