Since the outbreak of the HIV epidemic in Belgium, the profile of this epidemic has undergone many changes. It is widely accepted that interventions aimed at controlling the epidemic have to be based on data and focused on the national and local epidemiology.
Therefore, an HIV/AIDS incidence surveillance is an important instrument. New HIV diagnoses are reported by the AIDS Reference Laboratories (ARLs). Following the Royal Decree regarding the determination of the criteria for the recognition of HIV/aids reference laboratories (dd. 8/10/1996), AIDS Reference Laboratories (ARLs) are obliged to confirm and report all new HIV diagnoses.
The convention between RIZIV-INAMI and the ARLs stipulates that these data have to be transferred to the WIV-ISP. New diagnoses of AIDS are being reported by clinicians throughout Belgium on a voluntary basis, with active requests and reminders. The WIV-ISP acts as ‘National Contact Point for HIV surveillance’ for the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and ‘National Focal Point for HIV/AIDS Monitoring & Evaluation’ for WHO Europe.