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HIV and Public Health Surveillance: Legal, Policy, Ethics, and Human Rights Considerations

In the face of an ongoing HIV crisis that is often highly concentrated in specific sexual and drug using networks, the use of HIV surveillance tools by health departments offers an exciting way to effectively identify and intervene in places where HIV transmissions are occurring. In addition to traditional tools, new technology, called molecular HIV surveillance (MHS), is being used to improve the ability of health departments to spot transmission clusters and step in to support communities to stop further transmission. Other technology, such as biometric identification and tracking, has also been proposed as a means of enhancing the accuracy of HIV and broader public health surveillance. These technologies, however, raise critical and urgent questions around privacy and criminalization. This project will consist of two daylong workshops at Georgetown University in 2019 to assess legal, policy, ethics, and human rights considerations of using new technology in public health surveillance and programming as part of the United States and global responses to HIV. The first workshop will focus on the US context, with a focus on both traditional HIV surveillance and MHS as well as data sharing. The second workshop will be more exploratory and will focus on the global context, with a focus on biometric and other technologies for public health surveillance.