Anne Presanis’ research in the SURPH theme focuses on improving population health via the development and application of methods synthesising multiple observational data sources, such as linked electronic health records, health registries and community survey data, to estimate hidden characteristics of disease. Her work is motivated by substantive challenges in infectious diseases, where estimates of quantities such as the number currently infected, rate of new infection and severity are crucial. A methodological aspect of this work involves detecting and measuring inconsistency between the information provided by different data sources on the quantities being estimated.
Anne’s work quantified the fatality risk of the 2009 influenza pandemic and regularly provides estimates of HIV prevalence and incidence in the UK. For HIV, data from multiple linked public health surveillance sources are combined in an evidence synthesis with information from previous studies or expert opinion to provide authoritative estimates of the number of individuals living with HIV, informed by all available information. The group’s work on HIV has led to the adoption of their model to provide the UK’s annual official HIV prevalence estimates since 2005, informing public health policies on HIV. The 2018 estimates reveal that the UK has been one of the first few countries to achieve all three of the United Nations 90-90-90 targets, i.e. to diagnose 90% of HIV infections, treat 90% of diagnosed infections, resulting in viral suppression in 90% of those individuals on treatment. An estimated 101,600 (credible interval 99,300 – 106,400) people were living with HIV in the UK in 2017, of whom 92% (88-94%) are diagnosed.