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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 Thursday Breakout Sessions


A7: Promoting STI Screening Through an Innovative Online Tool, San Antonio Room

Early detection of STIs through screening can prevent or minimize many STI consequences. About 19 million Americans are infected with an STI annually and many are unaware of their infection. Despite this enormous public health problem, physician use of STI screening is poor. To help address these problems and take advantage of the public's desire to seek healthcare information on the Internet, we have developed an innovative “STD Wizard” interface for the public. This online tool collects demographic and behavioral risk information and provides screening recommendations based on CDC guidelines.

The STD Wizard was evaluated in nearly 500 college students from two universities using an intervention/nonintervention, pre-test/post-test design. Methods, results, and conclusions of this evaluation will be presented. A demo and walk-through of the STD Wizard will also be provided.

Sheetal Malhotra, M.B.B.S., M.S.
The Medical Institute for Sexual Health
Austin, Texas

Sheetal Malhotra is an epidemiologist with the Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MISH). She has worked on background research and survey design, implementation, participant recruitment, data collection, analysis, reporting and presentation for various projects. Her work at MISH includes studies on evaluation of an online screening tool - the STD Wizard, FDA condom label comprehension, HIV/AIDS knowledge and beliefs of African communities as reported by healthcare providers, Nonoxynol-9 effectiveness against STIs, evaluation of sex education programs, and sexual health education programs for grandparents.

Anjum Khurshid, M.B.B.S., M.P.Aff.
Vice President, Information Technology and Public Policy
The Medical Institute for Sexual Health
Austin, Texas

Anjum Khurshid is Vice President for Information Technology and Public Policy at the Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MISH). He has worked in the area of telemedicine/telehealth for over seven years. He has extensive experience in project management and has supervised several information technology and health research projects. As General Manager of the Punjab Information Technology Board, he negotiated and successfully implemented a $13 million-information technology project in collaboration with Oracle Corporation. He is currently the primary investigator on a CDC-funded project on sexual health training in medical school curricula and also works closely with Dr. Kate Hendricks (also of MISH) on the STD Wizard project.

Katherine Ann Hendricks, M.D., M.P.H.
Vice President, Scientific Affairs
The Medical Institute for Sexual Health
Austin, Texas

Dr. Kate Hendricks is board certified in preventive medicine and is the Vice President for Scientific Affairs at the Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MISH). Following her tenure as an EIS officer in Mississippi (1987), Dr. Hendricks served for over 13 years as the Division Director for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance (IDEAS) Program at the Texas Department of Health (TDH). While at TDH she served as the medical editor for the state's biweekly morbidity report, Disease Prevention News, and as the founder of the continuing medical education and geographic information systems units. She holds two patents for medical devices and has been the primary investigator on several MI projects including a ATPM TS 1052 entitled "Improving STD Guideline Access through a Novel Internet Method." This project is referred to as the STD Wizard in the context of the current application.

B7: Depressed CD4 Count: Is it Always HIV Infection?, San Marcos Room

Syphilis is a sexually acquired infection with episodes of active clinical disease interrupted by periods of latent infection. HIV and syphilis co-infection is common; each enhances acquisition and transmission of the other. We report on a 30-year-old HIV negative, male with secondary syphilis diagnosed in December 2005. Initial symptoms included nonpruritic rash with spread to all extremities. Past medical history included negative Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) result (May 2005) and negative Oraquick tests (blood specimens 4/2005, 10/2005, and 12/2005). Syphilis diagnosis was confirmed by reactive RPR (1:128). The patient was treated with standard therapy and reported a Herxheimer reaction on treatment day one. Immunophenotyping was conducted on multiple occasions for non-clinical indications. Results are outlined below:

CD4 Count
nl range

*Represents data 1 day prior to diagnosis of secondary syphilis.

RPR test was negative in February 2006 and HIV test results were negative January 2006 and April 2006. Patient counseling focused on likely HIV transmission because of identified CD4 depression. Clinicians who treat STDs are knowledgeable about HIV associated immune suppression. Data documenting transient CD4 immunosuppression with syphilis does not appear in healthcare provider educational material. Although not performed clinically for this patient, CD4 testing is a commercially available test that is increasingly used in non-HIV clinical evaluation settings. This case highlights that interpretation and counseling regarding diminished CD4 test results should occur in the context of all potential illnesses including STDs, namely, HIV and syphilis.

Aaron J. Loeb, B.S.N., R.N.
Clinical Research Nurse
Texas Children's Hospital
Houston, Texas

Aaron Loeb has been working in clinical HIV trials research with pediatric and adolescent affected individuals for the past two years. His HIV clinical trial work includes evaluating the effects of HIV on sleep and fatigue on quality of life and neurodevelopment in infected individuals, long-term clinical observation of perinatal and behavioral HIV infection in youth, and adherence to and PK study of protease inhibitors in HIV infected youth. His goal is to become a family nurse practitioner. He is currently working on a master's degree at the Texas Woman's University in Houston. His long-term goal is to acquire a doctorate in nursing to continue in a research academic setting.

I. Celine Hanson, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas

Dr. Celine Hanson was the Chief of the Bureau of HIV and STD Prevention at the Texas Department of Health in Austin in 2002. She is formally trained as an allergist/immunologist with a special interest in HIV infection. She has served as a principal investigator for multiple National Institutes of Health-funded clinical studies of perinatal HIV infection and transmission. Her interests include immunosuppression by diseases including HIV and other illnesses.

C7: Dallas County Syphilis Elimination Coalition: Special Projects 2005-2006, Sabine Room

This presentation will provide an overview of syphilis and the local elimination efforts taking place in Dallas. Primarily, this presentation will focus on the special projects of the Dallas County Syphilis Elimination Coalition in 2005 and 2006. The presenters will explain the projects from inception through development. The 2005 project is a research project modifying the Popular Opinion Leader (POL) evidence-based intervention (EBI) to target syphilis in the African American community (entitled the CPOL Project). The 2006 project is a whole health initiative for the MSM community in Dallas (entitled the GMHI project).

Paul Clarkson, L.C.D.C.
Executive Director
La Sima Foundation
Dallas, Texas

Paul Clarkson has been a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor for the past 12 years. He has been working in HIV prevention for over 14 years. He has worked on several different evidence-based intervention projects, including the CPOL Project with Texas A & M, La Sima's SISTA Project and Sniffer project. His primary concentration is substance abusers that are at high risk for HIV and hepatitis.

Chris Wilkie, D.H.S.
Community Health Program Manager
Resource Center of Dallas
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Chris Wilkie is the Community Health Program Manager for the Resource Center of Dallas. He has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS and STDs for more than five years. He has an extremely strong academic background in human sexuality and public health. After completing his graduate work, he went on to complete a nationally recognized board certification as a sexologist through the American College of Sexology. He is also an active member of several community coalitions and planning bodies including, but not limited to, the North Central Texas Community Planning Group, the North Texas Prevention/Services Coalition, and the Dallas County Syphilis Elimination Coalition. Over the past several years he has presented at universities, state conferences, and national conferences.

Monica Tunstle Garrett
First Line Supervisor/Syphilis Elimination Coordinator
Dallas County Health and Human Services
Dallas, Texas

Monica Tunstle Garrett is a First Line Supervisor in the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) STD/HIV Department. She is the original founder of the Dallas County Syphilis Elimination Coalition. Garrett has been employed with DCHHS for nine years and has been the guest speaker and presenter at various STD/HIV conferences in national, state and local venues. She is also the newest elected member of the Ryan White Planning Council of Dallas. Garrett is an active advocate for community and street outreach in the efforts to eliminate syphilis, HIV, and other STDs.

D7: Fast Tracking Patients at an STD Clinic, Trinity B

This presentation will review the pros and cons of implementing an STD "Fast Track" system for evaluating patients through a STD clinic at a local health department. The speaker will explore lessons learned and provide recommendations on how to tailor the practice of medicine through an STD/HIV clinic.

Sandra Guerra-Cantu, M.D., M.P.H.
Regional Medical Director
Department of State Health Services - Region 8
San Antonio, Texas

Dr. Sandra Guerra-Cantu is the Director of DSHS Region 8, a region comprised of 28 counties surrounding and including Bexar County in South Central Texas. She is also the DSHS Preventative Medicine Residency Director. Originally from the Rio Grande Valley, Guerra-Cantu is board certified in both family medicine and preventive medicine. She currently serves as President-Elect for the Mexican-American Physicians Association and as the Texas Medical Association Public Health CME Curriculum Chair. Guerra-Cantu has focused her expertise in both clinical and administrative roles to enhance public health infrastructure in response to bioterrorism/emergency preparedness, tuberculosis control, STD intervention, HIV surveillance, epidemiology of reportable conditions, dental services, immunization programs, and other essential public health functions. She remains attuned to issues of underserved minority health care and border health concerns.

E7: Medical Monitoring Project Community and Medical Care Provider Involvement/Relationship: Texas and Houston Perspective, Trinity A

This presentation will describe the strategies and methodologies used to inform the community about the Medical Monitoring Project and recruit providers that care for HIV/AIDS patients. The main objective of the Project was to recruit randomly selected HIV/AIDS care providers in the Houston/Harris County area to participate in surveillance activities that would eventually lead to medical record abstraction and in-person patient interviews. A list of 25 providers was drawn from the Facility Sampling Frame that contained 107 HIV/AIDS care providers in the area. Project staff used phone, fax, and registered mail to approach the selected providers to recruit them into the project. Project staff also used the Community Advisory Board (CAB), a group of 19 HIV/AIDS stakeholders involved in different capacities with HIV/AIDS care in the area, to assist in recruitment activities. The CAB contacted some of the selected providers with whom they have professional and social working relationships.

Skilled engagement of the public is essential to the success of a project such as the Houston Medical Monitoring Project (HMMP). The use of a community newsletter titled, “The Community Monitor,” has enhanced outreach efforts by increasing public knowledge as well as encouraging interest and future participation. The intended audience is the entire Houston HIV/AIDS community. The newsletter was used to relay information on HMMP activities, as well as the activities of HMMP partners in the Houston HIV/AIDS community.

Taiwo Fasoranti, M.D.
Epidemiologist-Provider Liaison
Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Houston, Texas

Dr. Taiwo Fasoranti is the Epidemiologist and Provider Liaison attached to the HMMP. He has over 14 years of experience in the field of clinical research and public health/preventive medicine. He attended the University of Ibadan Nigeria, and completed a pre med program with an associate degree in biochemistry. He then went on to receive a medical doctorate from the Obafemi Awolowo University School of Medicine, Ile-Ife Nigeria. Since graduation, he has held positions as clinical research manager and project manager at the North Incorporation for Total Health and Novum Pharmaceuticals, respectively. He recently received the Joel L. Martinez HIV/AIDS Treatment/Community Advocacy Scholarship Award as a result of his advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Michele LaLand
Surveillance Investigator-Epidemiology
Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Houston, Texas

Michele LaLand is a Surveillance Investigator in the Bureau of Epidemiology at the Houston Department of Health and Human Services. She performs interviews and medical record abstractions for the Houston Medical Monitoring Project. She is the editor of the projects' community newsletter titled, “The Community Monitor,” and is a driving force behind the projects' many outreach activities. LaLand graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1990 with a bachelor of science in community health education and has enjoyed a 13-year career in community outreach.

Sylvia L. Odem, M.P.H.
Project Coordinator/Epidemiologist
HIV/STD Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit
Department of State Health Services
Austin, Texas

Sylvia Odem is the Project Coordinator for the Medical Monitoring Project, the first statewide supplemental surveillance project to look at both clinical outcomes and behavioral activities in conjunction. She previously coordinated the Supplement to HIV/AIDS Surveillance (SHAS) project in Texas (2000-2004) and in Los Angeles, California (1995-1997), a patient interview project. She also coordinated the Adult Spectrum of Disease (ASD) project in Texas (1999-2004), a medical chart review data collection project. Prior to her work in HIV/AIDS, she worked on research projects related to prenatal care access and the use of hospital education centers.

F7: Health Literacy: Improving Clear Health Communication for Better Patient Outcomes (Part I), Concho Room

Health literacy refers to the ability to read and understand health information and use it effectively. Because health information can be complex and scientific, people often have difficulty reading and understanding written materials such as prescriptions, medication instructions, informational brochures about diseases and treatments, insurance applications, and consent forms.  This is true for Americans of all literacy levels, but particularly so for those with limited reading skills, like underserved populations. In the U.S., there is a significant gap between the reading abilities of the adult population and the reading levels of most written health care materials. Therefore, easy-to-read health care materials are essential. The National Center for Farmworker Health has a history in the development of low literacy and culturally sensitive materials and programs that can help address this problem. Through hands-on training, health care providers will develop the skills to apply verbal and written communication methods with their clients/patients in order to convey important health messages.

Alicia Gonzales, M.S.S.W.
Director of Leadership Development and Training
National Center for Farmworker Health
1770 FM 967, Buda, Texas 78610
Phone: (512) 312-2700, Fax: (512) 312-2600
E-mail: gonzales@ncfh.org

Alicia Gonzales has worked in the field of health promotion and education for 15 years and has extensive experience in the development of low literacy and culturally appropriate materials. She is also responsible for the development of various leadership development and skills building trainings at the National Center for Farmworker Health.

Monica Saavedra-Embesi, C.H.E.S.
Migrant Health Education Coordinator
National Center for Farmworker Health
Buda, Texas

Monica Saavedra-Embesi is Certified Health Education Specialist and has extensive experience working on the development of low literacy bilingual patient education materials for Hispanic populations. She is the Migrant Health Education Coordinator at the National Center for Farmworker Health.

G7: Maintaining Security and Confidentiality for Surveillance and Reporting (Part I), Pecos Room

HIV/AIDS surveillance is the joint responsibility of many participants in the health care system. Among the participants are state and local health department surveillance programs; public and private institutions providing clinical, counseling and laboratory services; individual health care providers; persons at risk for HIV infection; and persons with HIV or AIDS. The ability of state and local surveillance programs to collect, store, use, and transmit sensitive HIV/AIDS case information in a secure and confidential manner is central to the program's acceptability and success. The importance of data security has been a long-established component of the federal surveillance guidelines. Various federal and state statutes, regulations, and case law provide legal protections of HIV/AIDS surveillance information. Among these safeguards are a right to informational privacy under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, and federal assurance of confidentiality of the Public Health Service act as well as state and local protections.

The dynamic nature of information technology is a critical consideration in developing security policies and procedures that will be used to meet the requirements and standards. Although designed for HIV/AIDS surveillance activities, these security standards may serve as a model for other programs to use in reviewing or upgrading security protocols that are appropriate for their overall procedures and mission.

Stanley E. See
HIV Surveillance Data Manager
Department of State Health Services
Austin, Texas

Stan See was a database administrator for Worldcom responsible for database security for consumer databases across 13 call centers before joining DSHS. He is a member of the CSTE/CDC workgroup responsible for development of the federal HIV/AIDS Surveillance Security and Confidentiality Guidelines.

H7: Gay Latinos 101 for Non-Latinos, Ballroom A

This presentation provides participants who are new to or who are beginning to explore issues in the Latino community with a variety of insights into the lives of Hispanic MSM and who are at risk of acquiring HIV. Topics covered include some of the latest data about Hispanic MSM and HIV, a description of the many language and cultural barriers found among Latino MSM, and a discussion about strategies that can serve to build trust and communication between participants and this population. Participants will learn how to incorporate culturally sensitive practices in their workplace for clients who are Latino and/or Spanish-speaking MSM and/or collaborate with partner organizations working with the population.

Ruben Ramirez, A.A.S., B.A., B.S., M.A.
Latino Health Programs Coordinator
Resource Center of Dallas
Dallas, Texas

Ruben Ramirez works with the Latino community and Hispanic-oriented organizations and agencies to better understand the critical risk factors associated with HIV and the Latino MSM population and to provide that population with effective prevention programming. A former English-as-a-second-language teacher for academically at-risk kids, Ramirez facilitates a monthly HIV prevention support group for Spanish-speaking, gay, Latino men and supervises and participates in outreach to Hispanic MSM at bars and other locales. Ramirez is also a risk reduction specialist, providing HIV risk reduction sessions and testing to Spanish speakers and others. In order to spread the word about HIV/AIDS in the community, he has been called on for several interviews by local Spanish radio and television stations, both secular and religious, and his work has been featured in articles of Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex newspapers. He is the Latino Health Programs Coordinator for the Resource Center of Dallas.

I7: Utilizing Faith Communities to Promote HIV Awareness, Prevention, and Treatment, Ballroom B

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the Black Faith Based Health Initiative, a collaborative effort of Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department and other AIDS Service Organizations in Travis County, created in order to increase awareness of the continued spread of HIV/AIDS in the Austin/Travis County African American community. This program has been successful in reaching a population historically inaccessible, unreceptive, and unresponsive to current prevention efforts. Since 2002, this initiative has collaborated with over 40 churches and faith-based organizations within the Austin area.

Presenters will share methods and strategies used to partner with and recruit community leaders, clergy, churches, and faith-based organizations into programs and workshops. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss challenges to faith-based outreach as well as brainstorm ideas that may work within their specific areas. Participants will also be provided a sample outline for conducting program activities including organizing community forums and educational workshops as well as inviting speakers. There will be a small group activity regarding faith-based outreach and coordination following the presentation.

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.

Roger Temme
Outreach Coordinator
Care Communities
Austin, Texas

Roger Temme has worked at Care Communities (formerly known as Interfaith Care Alliance) as Outreach Coordinator for seven years. Care Communities provides compassionate care for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Temme recruits volunteers to serve on care teams. Care Communities has been part of the Black Faith Based Health Initiative, formerly known as Black Church Outreach Project, since it's inception at the Our Problems/Our Solutions Conference.

Sam Price
Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services
Austin, Texas

Sam Price is an educator with the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services' African American Quality of Life Health Initiative. He also coordinates the Black Faith Based Health Initiative in the Austin/Travis County area.

Rev. Kenyatta D. Simmons
Prevention Program Specialist
AIDS Services of Austin
Austin, Texas

Rev. Kenyatta Simmons is a native of Houston. He is a proud graduate of Prairie View A & M University where he received a bachelor of arts in radio and television communication with a minor in business marketing. He also holds a master of divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was called into the ministry in 1997 and hasn't looked back since. His passion and primary focus has always been collaborating the church and the community to promote the overall well being of the whole person. In addition to working within the church, he also serves as an HIV awareness advocate in the community. He is currently employed by AIDS Services of Austin where he serves as a Prevention Program and Counseling Specialist focusing on the African American community. He is a dedicated and faithful man of God who is excited about life and the abundance that God intends for us to enjoy.

J7: AETC Border Issues Track: HIV/AIDS Case Management on Texas/Mexico Border, Wedgewood Room

Presenters from the Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) will discuss case management training and capacity building efforts along the Texas/Mexico Border. AETC's Texas/Mexico Border case management training and capacity building effort has three phases. The needs assessment and analysis phase consists of collecting key informant interviews and learning needs assessments. Qualitative and quantitative information is collected and analyzed to guide the planning/training phase. The planning/training phase and the considerations taken when designing the training curriculum to address the case managers' needs for the border population will be described. The final phase of training delivery will be interactive through the use of case studies. Opportunities for questions and answers will be provided.

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.

Oscar Gonzalez, M.S.
Border Coordinator
Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education & Training Center
Dallas, Texas

Oscar Gonzalez is the Border Health Coordinator at the TX/OK AETC. Prior to joining the TX/OK AETC, he worked as Training Coordinator at the Dallas STD/Prevention Training Center for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and CDC. Gonzalez has 15 years of experience in the field of HIV/AIDS as an anthropologist and ethnographer. His areas of expertise include HIV/AIDS training and technical assistance, rapid assessment, evaluation, treatment and medications adherence in HIV/AIDS patients, prevention for positives, HIV behavior surveillance, HIV intervention for men who have sex with men, injection drug users and high-risk heterosexuals with priority in minority women, and HIV and intimate partner violence in women. His expertise and specialization is in Latino communities in United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Subsequent to working with the TX/OK AETC, he worked in many research projects funded by CDC, NIDA, NIH, HRSA, and several universities. He has also provided multiple consultations for HIV/AIDS international organization and agencies. He also participates in nationwide and international HIV conferences. Gonzalez is bilingual and bicultural. Being an anthropologist is a rewarding career in which he is always able to learn and share how to improve the lifestyles of people.


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Last updated May 22, 2013