Strengths and limitations of the Rio de Janeiro Municipal AIDS Information System as an instrument for epidemiological surveillance

This study analyzes the Rio de Janeiro Municipal AIDS Information System, specifically the system's strengths and limitations in the epidemic's current context, from a broader perspective of epidemiological surveillance. The objective was to provide a brief description of the system, considering its different components. The authors further analyzed records pertaining to the reporting and investigation of AIDS cases from 1985 to 1995 and an update of the database as a contribution to the system's quality. The results showed improvement in the consistency of the AIDS database, particularly for the following variables: occupation, neighborhood, school, and exposure category, although the study found concrete limitations in the system's design and structure for dealing with the complexity and heterogeneity of AIDS surveillance. The study thus identified the need to construct an efficient HIV/AIDS surveillance system, based on epidemiological indicators aimed at monitoring and evaluating changes in the epidemiological pattern and analysis of the impact on morbidity and mortality resulting from access to more efficient forms of prevention and new treatments.

Information Systems; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Epidemiologic Surveillance

Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil