About Louisiana’s STD/HIV Hepatitis Program
The STD/HIV Hepatitis Program (SHHP) coordinates a number of statewide and regional programs designed to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and other STDs, to ensure the availability of quality medical and social services for HIV infected and affected individuals, and to track the impact of the epidemic in Louisiana.
The goal of SHHP is to educate citizens regarding STD/HIV Hepatitis prevention, to monitor disease trends, and to offer client-centered services via the following components:
The Capacity Building and Community Mobilization (CBCM) Unit supports SHHP and community partners by leading capacity building and training, marketing, and community engagement efforts related to HIV, STIs, and hepatitis. Through provider outreach, trainings to support organizational development and high quality service provision, campaigns to raise awareness and connect people to services, and involvement of community members in various planning and activity implementation processes, CBCM Unit aims to address the HIV, STI, and hepatitis epidemics and contribute to health equity efforts in Louisiana.
This portion of SHHP is responsible for behavioral interventions and educational activities that are focused on reducing the spread of HIV in Louisiana. Prevention activities include HIV counseling and testing, prevention with HIV positive individuals, outreach, partner counseling and referral services, and behavioral intervention.
The Services Unit aims to provide a comprehensive array of core medical and support services to persons living with HIV so they may enjoy overall wellness and positive health outcomes. Services include health insurance assistance, medications, case management, and assistance with transportation, rent and utilities, child care, supplemental food items, and other needed support services.
This section is responsible for monitoring HIV, progression to AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and STI diagnoses throughout the state. Surveillance data also support the planning of prevention efforts and guides the allocation of resources for outreach, screening, linkage to treatment, care, and other supportive services.
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 to ensure the quality and effectiveness of those activities, and ultimately to make recommendations for improvements to enable SHHP to more efficiently achieve its goals.
Services We Provide:
The STD/HIV Hepatitis Program has four core programmatic sections that provide and ensure the quality of services to the citizens of Louisiana:
With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SHHP 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 referral for populations of our community most at risk. In addition, the HIV/AIDS Program coordinates statewide planning process.
HIV Care and Treatment Services:
With funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), SHHP 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.
With funding from the CDC and in accordance with the Louisiana Sanitary Code, SHHP 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.
With funding from the CDC and HRSA, SHHP 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 SHHP 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 SHHP 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.
‘Partner services’ are offered to people with STIs/HIV, to their partners, and to other people who are at increased risk for infection in an effort to prevent transmission of these diseases and to reduce suffering from their complications. Partner services are carried out by Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS), public health professionals trained in contact tracing, case analysis, linkage to medical care and social resources, and provider and community engagement.
Sam Burgess, MHA
Anthony James, MS, MA, MSHCM
Deputy Director of Programs