See the New Texas-Made #SpeakOutHIV Video
The “Greater Than AIDS” campaign released a new Texas-made awareness video as part of the “Speak Out Texas” campaign. The video features LGBTQ youth under age 25 from across Texas speaking out about how HIV has affected their lives and what they are doing to make a difference. The video was compiled at the #SpeakOutHIV Texas Digital Storytelling Workshop held last month in Dallas.
“Speak Out Texas” was developed with local health departments to engage the LGBT community in response to the silence and stigma of HIV. The cross-platform campaign, which features gay men from Texas, encourages more open communication about HIV in relationships, with health care providers, and within the community.
“Speak Out Texas” comes at a critical time when new HIV infections are rising among young gay men in the state, mirroring national trends. Although gay men are not the only population affected by HIV, they have been from the beginning and continue today to be among those hit hardest. Then, as now, gay men represented the largest share of people affected by HIV/AIDS. In Texas, gay men represent nearly three quarters of new HIV diagnoses occurring each year in the state. Posted 3/26/2015
DSHS Releases Recommendation for PrEP
Many of you may have heard of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, by now. PrEP is a very promising prevention option for people who are at high risk of getting HIV. It’s meant to be used consistently, as a pill taken every day, and to be used with other prevention options such as condoms.
Earlier this year, CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service released new clinical guidelines encouraging health care providers to consider prescribing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for patients at substantial risk for HIV. CDC also released a letter detailing key actions that an organization could take to help achieve the full promise of PrEP as well as grantee guidance on PrEP related services that can be supported with HIV Prevention funding.
DSHS HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch has released a recommendation to contractors informing them DSHS also recommends that PrEP be considered for people who are HIV-negative and at high risk for HIV and asking that they advocate for clients who need PrEP as well as help break down barriers and create pathways to PrEP.
For questions about the DSHS PrEP position statement, contact Shelley Lucas, Manager, HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch. Posted 12/1/2014
DSHS Releases 2013 Epi Profile
The DSHS TB/HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis Unit has released the 2013 Texas STD and HIV Integrated Epidemiologic Profile (Epi Profile) (PDF : 2,141 kb), a summary of information on known STD and HIV/AIDS cases in Texas. The Epi Profile was created to assist planners, public health professionals, policy makers and other stakeholders at the local and state level. It is a snapshot of STD and HIV infection as of the end of 2013. You can read the Epi Profile and other reports from the TB/HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis Unit on the Reports page. Posted 12/1/2014
DSHS Support Documents for CDC Funding Announcement PS 15-1502
The DSHS HIV/STD/TB/Viral Hepatitis Unit has published the following support documents for potential applicants to the recently released Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) PS 15-1502 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The documents include an orientation to the state rules, policies, procedures and requirements potential applicants must follow. We have also posted information on HIV epidemiology and the continuum of care for the priority populations referenced in the Texas HIV Plan (2013) and the Texas HIV-STD Prevention Plan (2011).
Processes for obtaining required Attachments C and G to include in your CDC application are below. All potential applicants must attest to their understanding of the Texas rules, policies and procedures and requirements included in the support documents.
- Please contact Senior Consultants, Chris Mobley AND Amanda Reese to schedule a conference call to review required Attachment C and Attachment G. All conference calls must be held by November 11, 2014.
- Prior to the scheduled phone call, each applicant’s leadership and project management must have previously reviewed and attested compliance with state laws, rules, regulations pertaining to HIV testing and Partner Services and issues outlined in Attachment C.
- TWO days prior to the scheduled phone call, the applicant must send the abstract for their proposal to both Mr. Mobley and Ms. Reese; the abstract must specify the intent to apply for either CATEGORY A or CATEGORY B and list the proposed service areas.
We look forward to working with you on this initiative, and thank you for your continued provision of high-quality HIV prevention services for all Texans. Posted 10/9/2014 Updated 10/31/2014
DSHS Releases 2013 Texas HIV and STD Surveillance Reports
The Texas HIV and STD Surveillance Reports are annual reports generated by the Texas Department of State Health Services, TB/HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch. The 2013 reports describe cases reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services Surveillance Program from January 1 to December 31, 2013, as well as historical data. View the HIV report (PDF : 3,076 kb) and the STD report (PDF : 1,850). Updated 8/25/2014
DSHS Releases Texas HIV Plan for 2014-15
DSHS has released the 2014-15 Texas HIV Plan (PDF : 998 kb) which presents a framework and strategies to reduce the number of new HIV infections and provide treatment and care for those living with HIV. This new plan is intended to:
- Prioritize actions and coordinate the use of resources across individuals and organizations in communities and groups affected by HIV
- Identify common goals
- Harmonize strategies and evaluation
- Enrich local action rather than direct it
You can view the Texas HIV Plan and read about other HIV planning activities on the HIV and STD Planning page. Posted 5/1/2014
HIV/AIDS Information for Persons Applying for a Marriage License
During the 83rd regular session, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 984. This bill amends Texas Family Code Section 2.010 to allow county clerks to provide marriage license applicants with written notice of where to find required HIV/AIDS information on the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website rather than providing paper copies of this information. This bill took effect September 1, 2013. The required HIV/AIDS information for marriage license applicants can be found on the DSHS website in English and Spanish. Applicants without internet access can call the DSHS HIV/STD Program at 512-533-3000 to request a free print copy of this information. Posted 9/4/2013
New ARIES Case Management Service Categories – Intake and Recertification
The DSHS HIV/STD Care Services team has added 3 new case management service categories to ARIES for contractors to begin using immediately. These secondary service categories can be found under the following Primary Services: “Case Management (non-medical)” and “Medical Case Management.” The 3 new services are: 1) Intake – No CM; 2) Intake – CM; 3) Recertification. For more information about these service categories and how to utilize them, please review the below documents. If you have any questions, please contact your local Administrative Agency.
DSHS Guidance on Meningococcal Meningitis in MSM
DSHS is aware of the clusters of meningococcal meningitis in MSM in both New York and Los Angeles as reported by the CDC. We have not detected any clusters of meningococcal infections in Texas. We routinely look for cases clustered by time/location. Our lab also performs testing (PFGE) on meningococcal isolates to look for related cases. The basic prevention recommendations are:
- Routine hand washing and practicing respiratory etiquette (e.g. covering mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing) is essential to prevent spread of bacteria.
- Limit sharing food, eating utensils, and other personal belongings.
- There is a vaccine that offers protection against 4 out of the 5 most common serogroups of N. meningitidis. The meningococcal conjugate (Menactra® and Menveo®) and polysaccharide (Menomune®) vaccines are available in the USA. For more information about vaccine call the Immunization Division at 1-512-776-7284.
- Anyone experiencing symptoms of meningococcal infection (e.g. severe headache with fever or stiff neck with fever or rash with fever) should consult with their healthcare provider.
Flu Information for Persons with HIV/AIDS
With reports of flu widespread across Texas, state health officials are urging people to get a flu shot now and take other steps to protect themselves from the flu and its possible complications. “Texas, like much of the country, saw an early start to the flu season and continues to experience a high level of flu and flu-like illness,” said DSHS Commissioner Dr. David Lakey. “The best thing people can do to protect themselves is to get a dose of flu vaccine now. There is plenty of vaccine available.” Learn more. Posted 1/11/2013
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