Received: 24 June 2022
Accepted: 14 November 2022
First Online: 3 December 2022
: Sciensano, the Belgian institute of health, is legally entitled to conduct the HIV surveillance as part of its public health surveillance mandate in order to fulfil its mission of protecting and preserving the health and well-being of the population (ExternalRef removed). Article 4.4 of that law explicitly states that Sciensano is authorized to collect, validate, analyze, report and archive data of a personal nature concerning public health and to perform quantitative and qualitative scientific analyses on the basis of the collected information. In accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the HIV surveillance conducted by Sciensano has been authorized by the Belgian administrative authority protecting privacy and personal data: the Information Security Committee Social Security and Health (ExternalRef removed). The authorization granted from the Information Security Committee Social Security and Health specifies that the HIV surveillance team is authorized to access the pseudonimized personal data used in this research within the frame of the national HIV surveillance [CitationRef removed]. In accordance with Article 14 of the General Data Protection Regulation, the above mentioned authorisation provides for an exemption from the obligation to inform data subjects as Sciensano has a legal mandate to conduct the HIV surveillance and the information obligation is likely to make the achievement of the objectives of its mandate impossible. The HIV surveillance complies with the WHO International Guidelines on the Ethics of Public Health Surveillance (ExternalRef removed). In addition, the collection of data from the HIV reference centres has been approved by the ethical committee of Ghent University Hospital ((RN B670201420495).
: Not applicable.
: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.