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    DSHS HIV/STD Program

    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, Texas 78714

    Phone: (512) 533-3000

    E-mail the HIV/STD Program

    E-mail data requests to HIV/STD Program - This email can be used to request data and statistics on HIV, TB, and STDs in Texas. It cannot be used to get treatment or infection history for individuals, or to request information on programs and services. Please do not include any personal, identifying health information in your email such as HIV status, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, etc.

    For treatment/testing history, please contact your local Health Department.

    For information on HIV testing and services available to Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, please contact your local HIV services organization.

15th Texas HIV-STD Conference - 1:00 Wednesday Breakout Sessions

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A4: Effective Interventions for African American Women, San Antonio Room

Over 50 percent of the women with AIDS are African American women. Although many African American women may have heard about this disease, they may not be doing enough to protect themselves from getting AIDS. This presentation will familiarize participants with the core elements of The SISTA Project-an intervention developed by African American women and tailored toward the needs of African American women who are currently in a heterosexual relationship, the theory of gender and power, implementation strategies, and facilitation techniques. This presentation will also highlight other interventions targeting African American women such as Get Lifted!, SIHLE, and WILLOW. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss the importance of ethnic and gender pride in the decision making process. Participants will also experience and explore culturally appropriate methods for exercising critical thinking and assertive communication. This presentation will increase participant's knowledge of evidence-based interventions that can be explored with their community planning groups for implementation in their community.

Ratonia C. Runnels, L.M.S.W.
Development Specialist
Department of State Health Services
Austin, Texas

Ratonia Runnels is a Development Specialist for DSHS. Her work experience includes street outreach, HIV testing and counseling, substance abuse counseling, case management, training, group facilitation, contract monitoring, and grant writing. Runnels has been approved by CDC as a SISTA Project Instructor/Trainer, Facilitator, and Technical Assistance Provider. She currently volunteers as an educator, speaker, and technical assistance provider with the Black Faith-Based Health Initiative. Runnels is also the founder of TrinityVision Consulting, an independent consulting agency offering capacity-building assistance, faith-based curricula, and motivational speaking services to for-profit, non-profit, faith-based, and community-based organizations.

B4: Working Too Much? Let Technology Be Your Co-Worker, San Marcos Room

The purpose of this presentation is to provide technological solutions for record searching electronic/digital laboratory reports. During the presentation participants will be exposed to a variety of software tools to implement an automated record searching system. Various procedures and processes will be presented including “real-time” examples of a functional automated record searching system.

Exporting information from digital databases can be a straightforward process accomplished by using multiple types and versions of available software. It is also feasible to merge multiple databases and perform one automated search throughout the combined databases.

STD and AIDS/HIV surveillance programs routinely engage in record searching activities as part of their daily routine. This is a time consuming activity and in large programs may require multiple staff to complete these tasks. Automating this process can reduce workload and improve resource allocation. The Dallas AIDS/HIV surveillance program employs an automated record searching system utilizing MS Excel. Incoming Electronic Lab Reports are searched against the HARS database using name and/or Social Security numbers. The process reduces manual record searches by 67 percent with a corresponding reduction in time and workload.

A potential benefit of an automated system is reduced staff workloads, allowing programs to better allocate time for other essential program components.

John Novitski
Data Specialist
Dallas County Health and Human Services
Dallas, Texas

John Novitski is staff accountant for multiple organizations, an MS Access database specialist, and 2005 Bioterrorism Exercise Communication and I.T. Manager. He has coordinated major software conversions in accounting and medical environments. He uses ArcView GIS to map HIV/AIDS and STD statistics and has designed an HIV/AIDS record searching system. He has three and a half years of experience in surveillance.

John A. Mayfield
Surveillance Epi
Dallas County Health and Human Services, Surveillance Program
Dallas, Texas

John Mayfield has 32 years of experience in STD/HIV. During the past 23 years, his responsibilities included obtaining new technology such as computer hardware and software for the STD/HIV program, surveillance activities, and management duties. In addition, he participated in the development of the lab automation system for Dallas County Health and Human Services. He currently works in the AIDS/HIV Surveillance Program.

Phillip D. Anthony
Surveillance Epi, DIS II
Dallas County Health and Human Services
Dallas, Texas

Phillip Anthony has five years of STD/HIV experience, three of which have been in surveillance. He has been interim Surveillance Supervisor and was nominated for Texas Surveillance Specialist of the Year in 2005. He also worked as a Rapid Response team member. Anthony presented at the 14th Texas HIV/STD Conference.

C4: STD Rapid Response, Sabine Room

This presentation will provide participants with an increased awareness of rapid response to increases in STD morbidity in Texas, including both the development of a rapid response plan and establishment of area-specific criteria that determine when the rapid response plan should be implemented.

Al Gonzales
Program Manager
Department of State Health Services - Region 7
Temple, Texas

Al Gonzales is the HIV/STD Program Manager for DSHS Region 7. He has also served as Team Lead for the State Rapid Response Team for the past five years. Gonzales has over ten years of experience providing technical and programmatic assistance and supervisory support to various programs across the state.

Saul Rojas

Ed Weckerly, M.S.
Epidemiologist
HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch
Department of State Health Services
Austin, Texas

Ed Weckerly is an epidemiologist with the DSHS HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch. He earned a bachelor of arts at Marquette University and a master of science at Southwest Texas State University. Weckerly has over eight years of experience as an HIV/STD epidemiologist for DSHS. In recent years he has been involved in such projects as Threshold Monitoring for Syphilis Elimination, the MSM Prevalence Monitoring Project, and annual Texas HIV/STD Surveillance Reports.

D4: Chlamydia Screening - A Prison Experience, Trinity B

The Texas Infertility Prevention Project (TIPP) was a significant partner in a cooperative effort to screen females for chlamydia in Plane State Jail. Plane State Jail is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) detention facility located in Dayton, Texas. It is the largest female facility (bed capacity 2,144) in TDCJ. This pilot project was expected to gauge the prevalence of chlamydia in incarcerated females and develop policies and procedures to continue screening those at highest risk of infection.

This prison site presented many challenges. Some of these were inherent in the system and some were created by the STD testing program itself. The presentation will discuss the process to implement the chlamydia testing project and the lessons learned from the experience.

Jennifer Curtiss, M.Ed.
Texas IPP Coordinator
Center for Health Training
Austin, Texas

Jennifer Curtiss has 10 years of experience the field of HIV, STD, and family planning. She began in HIV case management, testing and counseling, and education and training. In this capacity, she coordinated HIV/STD education in social service agencies for staff and their high-risk clients, developed facilitated workshops for agencies on standard precautions, HIV/STD in their client populations, and healthy sexuality for adolescents. She is currently the Texas Infertility Prevention Project Coordinator providing technical assistance to publicly funded STD and family planning clinics on chlamydia screening, treatment, and counseling.

Alicia Nelson, R.N., M.S.N., M.Ed., F.N.P.
STD Nurse Consultant
HIV/STD Comprehensive Services Branch
Department of State Health Services
Austin, Texas

Alicia Nelson has worked in public health for over 20 years. Much of this experience has been in family planning, STD and community health. She has been a Family Nurse Practitioner for over 10 years.

E4: Implementing an Evidence-Based HIV Education Prevention Program for High-Risk Youth, Trinity A

Rates of HIV/AIDS infection are increasing within the adolescent population at an alarming rate. According to CDC (2001), minority youth are at higher risk for contracting HIV than are their non-minority counterparts. The HIV Education Project used an evidence-based curriculum, Becoming a Responsible Teen (B.A.R.T), targeted at minority youth to increase HIV/AIDS knowledge and to decrease HIV risk-related behaviors (St. Lawrence, et al., 1995). Participants included 892 at-risk male and female adolescents (primarily Hispanic or African American) between the ages of 13 and 20. Participants were divided into two groups; group one consisted of 152 participants who resided in a residential treatment program, were enrolled in an alternative school, or resided at a halfway house. Group two consisted of 740 participants who were incarcerated at a juvenile detention center. All participants except for those located at the Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center (BCJDC) received a modified eight-session intervention while participants at the BCJDC received a modified four-session intervention (due to the rapid turnover in the facility) in an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of a condensed version of the curriculum. Both groups completed baseline and exit surveys. Both groups demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in HIV-risk related behaviors and a statistically significant increase in both HIV/AIDS knowledge and condom usage at exit compared to baseline.

Ruthanne Hernandez
HIVEd Program Manager
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community Pediatrics
San Antonio, Texas

Ruthanne Hernandez has only been with the HIVEd Project for a short time. In that time, she has successfully completed a renewal application, including an eight-month work plan for the project. She has also successfully completed a quarterly report, which stated objectives for the project and outcomes thus far. She has conducted weekly meetings with HIVEd staff and department staff as well as taking part in two HIVED project overview presentations.

Nancy Bustamante
HIV Educator
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community Pediatrics
San Antonio, Texas

Nancy Bustamante has been involved in the implementation and adaptation of the HIV Education Project with The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community Pediatrics. She is the lead educator and provides data management support to the Program Manager. Her expertise is in HIV education.

Kayan Lewis, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community Pediatrics
San Antonio, Texas

Dr. Kayan Lewis is the Principal Investigator for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community Pediatrics HIV Prevention Program. She is Program Director for another federally funded grant on substance abuse and HIV prevention. She also serves as Evaluator for the HIV Education Program conducting the data analysis for outcome monitoring. Her area of expertise is evaluation of outcome measures serving as evaluator on five federally funded programs.

Veronica Villela Perez
Social Science Research Associate
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community Pediatrics
San Antonio, Texas

Veronica Villela Perez has been very involved in the implementation and analysis of the HIV Education Project with The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community Pediatrics. She formerly served as the Program Manager for the HIV prevention program and has contributed greatly to the research and development of the HIV prevention program.

F4: Preparedness and Response Track: Individual, Family, and Community Planning for Natural and Man-Made Disasters Including Acts of Terrorism, Concho Room

This presentation will provide an overview of the expectations for personal, family, and community management as they relate to natural or manmade disasters. The speaker will explore personal, family, and community plans and what they should cover in order to be prepared for the unthinkable.

Debra Joyce Edwards, M.S., R.N.C., O.N.C.
Workforce Development Distance Learning Coordinator
Department of State Health Services
Austin, Texas

Debra Edwards is the Workforce Development Distance Learning Coordinator for DSHS. She is responsible for planning, developing, and coordinating public health nursing and other public health programs in cooperation with public health service providers. She is also an R.N. planner responsible for the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of continuing educational programs for nurses.

G4: HIV Incidence: We're Making Progress (Part I), Pecos Room

Monitoring the AIDS epidemic has evolved significantly since AIDS was first identified in the United States in 1981. AIDS case surveillance continues as a foundation for directing prevention and services and HIV case reporting. Beginning in 1999, Texas expanded our capacity to understand the magnitude of HIV by requiring reporting of HIV by name. In June 2005, HIV Incidence Surveillance was introduced in Texas to improve our ability to track the leading edge of the HIV epidemic. Incidence Surveillance uses a new testing technology called STARHS to determine recent HIV infections within six months of diagnostic testing. On a population level, Incidence Surveillance allows more timely and precise monitoring of the HIV infection.

Availability of testing specimens and data from testing history interview forms are critical for accurate incidence estimates. The primary goal of Incidence Surveillance for the first year has been implementation with a focus on these elements. This presentation will include by surveillance jurisdiction: 1) data on the number of testing history interview completions and specimens available and tested, and 2) submissions of testing history interview forms and case report addendums. Compliance of Testing History Questionnaires (THQ) along with the types of providers submitting these forms will also be assessed.

An interactive role-play session will provide further familiarization of HIV Incidence and the THQ, helping the audience understand the critical component of collecting testing history. Incidence Surveillance will allow an increasing capacity to track the "leading edge" of infection trends in Texas and nationwide. Houston and Texas incidence data summaries will be an important new addition to epidemiology profiles and will be included in both local and national routine surveillance reports. These data will help guide HIV prevention and services planning and program evaluation.

Jerald Harms, M.P.H., C.A.R.T.
Epidemiologist Supervisor
Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Houston, Texas

Jerald Harms began to do HIV/AIDS surveillance in 1989 as an epidemiologist with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS). He has supervised HIV/AIDS Case Ascertainment for the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program in the HDHHS since 1991. Harms collaborates with the HDHHS STD Surveillance Program in the supervision of the HIV Public Health Follow-up Project. He has also supervised supplemental surveillance activities such as Enhanced Perinatal Surveillance and the Survey of HIV Disease and Care.

Mariama Darboe Janneh
Incidence Surveillance Coordinator
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Dallas, Texas

Mariama Darboe Janneh is currently the HIV Incidence Surveillance coordinator for UT-Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She is also part of the data analysis team at UT-Southwestern's HIV Epidemiology and Behavioral studies (HERBS) team. Her interests include working on research involving STD/HIV infections in minority groups and adolescents.

Ana I. Alvarez
Surveillance Investigator
Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Houston, Texas

Ana Alvarez has been an employee of the Houston Department of Health for the past eight years. She has done extensive work with HIV/STDs, including fieldwork, outreach, and prevention counseling. She has served as public health liaison with four local private providers and, for the past two years, worked in HIV surveillance integrated with incidence surveillance and expanded HIV/AIDS surveillance activities.

Shirley K. Chan, M.P.H.
Epidemiologist
Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Houston, Texas

Shirley Chan has been working as an HIV/AIDS epidemiologist for the Houston Department of Health and Human Services for the past five years. Since April 18, 2006 she has been the team leader for the Houston Incidence Surveillance program.

Cheryl L. E. Jablonski
HIV Serosurveillance Coordinator
HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch
Department of State Health Services
Austin, Texas

Cheryl Jablonski has worked in various aspects of public health including HIV/AIDS surveillance, STD intervention, health education, and motor vehicle injury prevention for the past 15 years. Her experience with state health departments in Virginia and Texas and with community agencies has provided her with extensive experience in survey and research design, statistical report writing and program evaluation in highway safety, and in HIV services and surveillance.

Sharon K. Melville, M.D., M.P.H.
Manager
HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch
Department of State Health Services
Austin, Texas

Dr. Sharon Melville received a medical doctorate in 1985 and a master of public health in epidemiology in 1991. She has worked in the field of HIV and STD for over 10 years. She joined DSHS (then Texas Department of Health) in November 1996. She is currently Manager of the HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch. The HIV/AIDS Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch has responsibility for statewide disease surveillance for HIV/AIDS and STDs. The Branch is also responsible for conducting special surveillance activities; epidemiologic investigations; data collection, analysis, and dissemination of HIV/AIDS and STD data; program evaluation and data collection; management, analysis, and dissemination of HIV/STD program-related data, including HIV counseling and testing data, data on HIV/AIDS prevention, and data on clinical and social services. Dr. Melville is currently Principal Investigator (PI) on the HIV/AIDS Surveillance and Serosurveillance Cooperative Agreement that includes Core Surveillance, Texas Incidence Surveillance and the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance activities. She is also PI on the Paso Del Norte Study, Enhanced Perinatal Surveillance, the Medical Morbidity Project and Web-Based HIV Risk Behavior Surveillance Among Men Who Have Sex With Men.

Naqi Mohammad
Surveillance Investigator
Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Houston, Texas

Naqi Mohammed has been working with the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program for two years as a surveillance investigator with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services. During this time, his surveillance activities have come to include core and incidence HIV surveillance that have now been integrated into routine surveillance.

Douglas A. Shehan
Research Scientist
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Dallas, Texas

Douglas Shehan has served for more than ten years as the Program Manager for HIV Epidemiology Research and Behavioral Studies, of the Community Prevention and Intervention Unit, UT Southwestern Allied Health Sciences School. His current activities include local management of national HIV behavioral surveillance, web-based HIV behavioral surveillance, HIV incidence surveillance, surveillance of variant and atypical resistant HIV strains, and other epidemiology activities to support HIV prevention and services.

Patsy Wright
Clinic Assistant
Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Houston, Texas

Patsy Wright is the liaison between the laboratory and the incidence surveillance investigators. She tracks specimens that are identified for the Serologic Testing Algorithm for Recent HIV Seroconversion (STARHS) testing and obtains information on reported incidence specimens. She ships all eligible specimens to CDC STARHS laboratory in New York according to International Air Transport Association regulation.

Pi-ju Yang, M.P.H.
Surveillance Investigator
Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Houston, Texas

Pi-ju Yang has been working with the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program as a surveillance investigator with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services for two years. During this time, her surveillance activities have come to include core and incidence HIV surveillance that have now been integrated into routine surveillance.

H4: Dirty Points of View: Harm Reduction and Needle Exchange, Ballroom A

This presentation will introduce participants to the harm reduction continuum as it pertains to needle exchange as well as identify barriers and possible solutions for implementing different harm reduction approaches in various communities throughout Texas. The presentation will address the philosophy and history of harm reduction, visit the laws pertaining to needle exchange, provide researched evidence supporting the efficacy of harm reduction, as well as demonstrate the implementation of the harm reduction model as experienced by the Austin Harm Reduction Coalition. During t his presentation , participants will be encouraged to discuss their experiences and hesitations with needle exchange. The presentation will further serve as a forum for participants to discuss the harm reduction needs surrounding injection drug use, resources available, and possible solutions within their communities. During this presentation, particpants will be challenged to define area action plans that are appropriate to their communities and resources available.

Sydney Minnerly, M.A.
Board Member
Austin Harm Reduction Coalition
Austin, Texas

Sydney Minnerly has volunteered with the Austin Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC) since 1998 and currently sits on the AHRC board as Secretary. She wrote a master's thesis on the topic of needle exchange use. Minnerly has over 12 years of experience in the HIV/STD prevention field and has presented at numerous conferences, including the 14th and 12th Texas HIV/STD Conference, North American Syringe Exchange Network Conference, Peer Advocacy and Leadership Conference, Street Outreach Workers Conference, and No Way Baby conference.

Jana Birchum
Project Director
Austin Harm Reduction Coalition
Austin, Texas

Jana Birchum has worked with the Austin Harm Reduction Coalition for 10 years as the project director. She has worked in the HIV prevention field for over 14 years. She has presented at the National Harm Reduction Conference, the North American Syringe Exchange conference, the DSHS HIV/STD Conference, and the American Foundation for AIDS Research Conference.

I4: Prevention Case Management (PCM): A Multi-Theory Approach, Ballroom B

Moving beyond a didactic model of Prevention Case Management (PCM) and other prevention efforts to a client centered, risk reduction approach may be challenging to providers based on their experience, role and level of comfort. Motivating a client to change habitual high-risk behavior is difficult for all health care providers. Video clips will show how the timing of an intervention (stage of change) dictates the skills used to build rapport and assist the client decrease high-risk sexual behavior and still employ warmth, empathy and genuineness. The presentation will cover the integration of counseling theories into clinical practice and how a risk reduction specialist, prevention counselor, physician, or disease intervention specialist can enhance his or her skills to address motivation for change. The presentation will also review other cutting edge methods used to address substance abuse counseling within the context of habitual risky sexual behavior. Other risk reduction counseling techniques will be examined during this presentation.

Dan J. Novoa, L.M.S.W., L.C.D.C.
Social Worker
Houston, Texas

Dan Novoa is a licensed master social worker and a licensed chemical dependency counselor and has worked in various settings with a wide variety of clients. He has worked in the field of HIV for various Ryan White funded agencies in Houston, Honolulu, San Francisco, and Miami. He has an interest in risk reduction counseling, motivational interviewing, and humanistic Rogerian practice methods. Most recently he worked as a prevention case manager providing therapy to agency clients at a local Houston Ryan White funded agency. He has been a consultant for HIV prevention counseling at Mercer University in Atlanta. He currently works as a medical social worker for a dialysis clinic in Houston.

J4: TX/OK AETC Clinical Track: Top Ten Reasons Why Patients Are Lost to Care, Wedgewood Room

Over a four year period the Parkland Health and Hospital System HIV Program used para-professional Client Advocates (CA) to locate and return over 900 patients formerly lost to care. The top ten reasons given by located patients for leaving care are examined to provide information to program planners to develop strategies and services that may address these barriers.

The clinic database was searched to find patients whose last primary care visit was greater than 12 months prior. CAs attempted to locate the patient by telephone, letter, certified letter, and a visit by a field worker. Social Security and Bureau of Vital Statistics databases were searched as well. When a patient was located they were asked why they had chosen to leave care. Data was catalogued and reviewed.

The top ten reasons given for leaving care were, in order: patient feels well, unaware of appointments, work schedule, substance use, relocation, patient expired, incarceration, health insurance, transferred care to another facility or provider, and hospitalization. This study examines these reasons with discussion on the nature of the barriers and implications for service delivery and program planning.

Thomas Emanuele, B.S.N., R.N.-C., A.C.R.N.
Case Management Supervisor
Parkland Health & Hospital System, HIV Services
Dallas, Texas

Thomas Emanuele has spoken at international, national, and local nursing conferences, and provided in-service education program to nurses, nursing students, primary care physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. He has been an HIV/AIDS program planner and nurse consultant on HIV/AIDS educational presentations and projects for the local Community College Associate Degree Nursing Program and a local baccalaureate nursing program. He served as the North Texas nurse consultant for the original Texas and Oklahoma AIDS Education and Training Center in Houston. He is a planning committee member for this presentation, and has presented education programs on case management and HIV nursing care related to adherence through the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas' annual AIDS Update Program for two years.

Carlos Cuellar
Client Advocate for Lost to Care Program
Parkland Health & Hospital System, HIV Services
Dallas, Texas

Carlos Cuellar started the Lost To Care Program and has worked with it and expanded it over the past five years.

Jose Sanchez
Data Analysis Manager
Parkland Health & Hospital System, HIV Services
Dallas, Texas

Jose Sanchez has worked in Parkland in the HIV Clinic for the past seven years.

 

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Last updated May 22, 2013