In 2011, the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Regional Support Team for Asia-Pacific conducted a stock-taking process of available strategic information in the Asia Pacific region. This paper summarizes the progress of HIV surveillance for 20 countries in the region, covering population size estimates of key populations at higher risk, HIV case reporting, HIV sentinel surveillance and probability surveys of behavioural and biological markers. Information on surveillance activities was obtained from publically available surveillance reports and protocols, supplemented by personal communication with the UNAIDS monitoring and evaluation advisers and surveillance experts in country. Key findings include substantial efforts in broadening the number and types of HIV surveillance components included in national HIV surveillance systems and adopting approaches to make surveillance more cost-efficient, such as integrating routine programme monitoring data and passive surveillance case reporting systems. More investment in regularly analysing and applying surveillance data to programme strengthening at the subnational level is needed but will require additional capacity-building and resources. The ability to triangulate multiple sources of surveillance data into a more comprehensive view of the HIV epidemic will be enhanced if more investment is made in better documentation and dissemination of surveillance activities and findings.