Project Description

HIPSS HIV incidence surveillance study


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. science-based public health and disease prevention agency, plays an essential role in implementing the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The HIV Incidence Provincial Surveillance System (HIPSS) – funded by CDC/PEPFAR – was established to monitor HIV prevalence and incidence in the sub-districts of Vulindlela and the Greater Edendale in the uMgungundlovu municipality of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with the aim to determine whether or not HIV prevention and treatment programmes are working.

Epicentre collected the data for the 1st cross-sectional study (June 2014 – June 2015) and the embedded cohort of HIV negative participants (completed in April 2017), as well as the 2nd cross-sectional study (July 2015 – June 2016) and the embedded cohort of HIV negative participants (completed in July 2017).

In order to successfully implement HIPSS, Epicentre has conducted the following activities:

  • Recruitment, training and management of field staff.
  • Retrieve informed consent and collect household data from about 11 000 households in the first survey and about 12 000 households in the second survey.
  • Include about 10 000 participants aged 15-49 years in both surveys: conducting informed consent procedures; administering standardized interviews using Mobenzi Researcher on a personal digital assistant; taking biological specimens (blood and urine (men) or vaginal swabs (women)).
  • Establish a Community Research Support Group in the district to create strong community relationships through consultative and advocacy engagements.
  • Coordinate the logistics with the laboratories conducting the testing of the biological specimens.
  • Data management and cleaning in order for the statisticians to be able to analyse the data.

The results of the HIV transmission dynamics and sexual networks found in HIPSS will be compared to those from another project Epicentre is conducting in the same municipality: Identifying sources of HIV infection in adolescent girls in rural South Africa. In this study adolescents will be recruited in- and out-of-school including primary health care clinics. The fieldwork of this study is conducted on behalf of the Centre for the Programme of AIDS Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

The following publications related to HIPSS can be downloaded here:

HIPSS was implimented by Epicentre and the Centre for the Programme of
AIDS Research in South Africa