What is the STD/HIV Program?
The STD/HIV Program (SHP) coordinates a number of statewide and regional programs designed to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, to ensure the availability of quality medical and social services for STD/HIV infected and affected individuals, and to track the impact of the epidemic in Louisiana.
The goal of SHP is to educate citizens regarding STD/HIV prevention, to monitor disease trends, and to offer client-centered services via the following components:
Prevention: This portion of SHP is responsible for behavioral interventions and educational activities that are focused on reducing the spread of HIV and other STDs in Louisiana. Prevention activities include HIV counseling and testing, prevention with HIV positive individuals, outreach, partner counseling and referral services, and behavioral intervention.
Services: This component is designed to assist HIV-infected and affected clients with supportive services such as primary medical care, HIV medication assistance, insurance assistance, home health, and housing.
Surveillance: This section is responsible for monitoring the progression of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other STD epidemics throughout the state. Surveillance also aids in the planning of prevention efforts and guides the allocation of resources for HIV treatment, care, and other supportive services.
Evaluation: The Evaluation Unit is responsible for examining the services provided to persons infected or affected by HIV and the prevention activities targeted at reducing the spread of HIV and other STDs to ensure the quality and effectiveness of those activities, and ultimately to make recommendations for improvements to enable SHP to more efficiently achieve its goals.
What Services are Provided?
The STD/HIV Program has four core programmatic sections that provide and ensure the quality of services to the citizens of Louisiana:
STD/HIV Prevention: With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SHP contracts with community-based and faith-based organizations to provide HIV counseling and testing, educational materials, programs targeting HIV positive individuals, outreach, training, and a statewide infoline for HIV, STD, hepatitis, and TB-related information and referrals for populations of our community most at risk. In addition, the STD/HIV Program coordinates the statewide HIV strategic planning process.
HIV Care and Treatment Services: With funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), SHP develops and enhances access to a comprehensive continuum of high quality, community-based care for low-income individuals living with HIV. These services include primary medical care, assistance in purchasing medications, the provision of case management, home health and hospice care, housing assistance, legal services, transportation assistance, nutritional services, emergency assistance, and the payment of health insurance premiums, co-payments and deductibles.
HIV Surveillance: With funding from the CDC and in accordance with the Louisiana Sanitary Code, SHP conducts general case ascertainment through the receipt of reports of potential cases of HIV/AIDS from clinical providers, laboratories and other public health providers throughout the state. Basic demographic and risk information are also collected, and the staff monitor perinatal transmission, HIV incidence, clinical manifestations of HIV disease, mortality, the utilization and impact of care and treatment, and measures of high-risk behavior. These data are analyzed, and non-identifying summaries of this information are provided to community based organizations, researchers, and the general public through reports, presentations, data requests, and regional profiles for the purposes of program planning and education. This information is also utilized to assist the HIV/AIDS Program in allocating State and federal resources to communities in the most responsive manner possible.
Evaluation: With funding from the CDC and HRSA, SHP maintains an Evaluation Unit to coordinate evaluation activities of care and treatment services for persons living with HIV/AIDS and HIV prevention interventions in Louisiana. The Evaluation Unit is responsible for developing and implementing evaluation plans, training staff from SHP and contracted community-based organizations, managing and analyzing evaluation data, and disseminating results through reports, presentations, and articles. Utilizing evidence-based methods, these evaluation activities allow SHP to continually assess the effectiveness and quality of services and prevention interventions and to utilize this information to support, modify, and/or develop activities to accomplish the goals of the program.
Who does SHP serve?
The SHP Prevention Unit provides services to the individuals and communities most at risk for acquiring and/or transmitting HIV in Louisiana.
The SHP Service Unit mananges programs throughout the state that assit in providing HIV related medical care and social services to the most economically disadvantaged individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana.
SHP's Surveillance and Evaluation Units work in conjunction to provide critical data to assist with community planning, resource allocation, and public health education efforts.
Additionally, medical providers, and other professionals from community based organizations and health clinics receive counseling and testing training and other forms of technical assistance from the STD/HIV Program.