• DSHS HIV/STD Program
    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, TX 78714

    Phone: 737-255-4300

    Email the HIV/STD Program

    Email HIV, STD, Hepatitis C, and TB data requests to the Program – Use this email to request Texas HIV, STD, Hepatitis C, and TB data and statistics. Do not use this email to request treatment or infection history for individuals, or to request information on programs or services. Do not email personal, identifying health information such as HIV status, date of birth, or Social Security Number.

    For treatment/testing history, please contact your local health department.

    For information on HIV testing and services available to persons living with HIV, please contact your local HIV services organization.


Accessing Restricted Websites for Public Health Activities

Procedure Number 044.012
Effective Date  July 20, 2006
Revision Date  July 20, 2006
Subject Matter Expert Special Projects Coordinator
Approval Authority  Branch Managers
Signed by Felipe Rocha, M.S.S.W., L.M.S.W. and Sharon K. Melville, M.D., M.P.H.

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of the procedure is to detail the steps HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch and Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch (the Branches) staff should undertake when accessing restricted websites to conduct public health activities related to their job responsibilities, such as conducting partner elicitation and notification or education, outreach and recruitment. These steps are necessary to ensure staff conducts public health activities in a consistent and responsible manner.


2.0 Definitions

Computer Usage Agreement - Employee agreement with DSHS, which documents their acceptance of computer and Internet usage requirements.

DSHS - Department of State Health Services

Restricted Website - An Internet website with sexually explicit information and/or information some community members may find objectionable.

Website Access Log - Form used to document approvals and public health activities conducted on restricted websites.


3.0 Responsibilities

All DSHS Employees must sign and adhere to the Computer Usage Agreement and the Agreement for Accessing Restricted Websites (044.012A) (DOC). In addition, all DSHS Employees will comply with the DSHS Guiding Principles, DSHS Universal Expectations for Personal Responsibility and Employee Conduct and Performance policies.


4.0 Procedures

All staff must notify their immediate supervisor and the Branch Manager of a business need requiring access to restricted websites in the course of performing their job duties. Notification will include the intended activity of the employee while accessing the restricted website and the specific link to the employee’s job related performance. The request will also include whether access is for a one-time activity or for a specified time-period.

These steps must occur prior to engaging in public health activities using the internet. The request and approval will be included in the employee’s personnel file.

The employee must use the Website Access Log to document all approved website activities. The log sheet requires employees to track all activities on restricted websites, including: website/chat room log-on date and time for activities, type of activity (e.g., partner notification, on-line education), the website accessed, outcome, log-off date and time (see Website Access Log (044.012B) (DOC)).

Supervisors are responsible for closely monitoring employee website activity to ensure all usage remains within the boundaries of job-related performance.

Due to the sensitive nature of this activity, supervisors should limit the number of staff and machines granted access to restricted sites. Any inappropriate website activity is subject to disciplinary action.


5.0 Additional Resources

Form 044.012A - Agreement for Accessing Restricted Websites (DOC)
Form 044.012B - Website Access Log (DOC)


6.0 Revision History

Date Action Section
10/8/2014 Converted format (Word to HTML) -



Last updated May 24, 2021