Digest (March 15, 2023)

Mar 15, 2023

HIV, STI, Viral Hepatitis, and Harm Reduction Digest

March 15, 2023

NACCHO News and Announcements


Webinar Series Exploring Syphilis among Communities of People who Use Drugs

The United States is currently experiencing unprecedented levels of drug overdose and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including syphilis. These epidemics are closely connected, with high rates of STIs among people who use drugs, high rates of substance use disorder among STI clinic clients, and a strong association between substance use and congenital syphilis; this is in part due to shared root causes and risk factors, such as unstable housing, involvement with the criminal justice system, poor access to healthcare, and stigma and discrimination including from medical providers. NACCHO with AIDS United, NASTAD, NCSD, and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board will be co-hosting a webinar series exploring syphilis among communities of people who use drugs.

This series consists of five monthly sessions with the first webinar, “If You’re Not Seeing It Yet, You Will: Collaborating to Address Syphilis Among People Who Use Drugs” taking place on March 28th, 2023, at 3pm ET (2pm CT, 1pm MT, 12pm PT, 11am AKT). In the first webinar we will provide an overview of the latest syphilis data with a focus on its connections to substance use and people who use drugs, as well as the key systems and stakeholders working at this intersection. Interactive breakouts will follow based on sector – harm reductionists will gather with STI experts and harm reduction experts will welcome STI staff. A brief Q&A will close the session. Please register here.


DIS Scholarship Application (2023)

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) is pleased to offer scholarships for DIS who work in local and state health departments to attend the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) annual meeting, STD Engage. This meeting will be held in person in New Orleans, LA and will take place on May 16-18, 2023, with pre-conference events starting on May 15, 2023. DIS will have the opportunity to attend numerous sessions focused on STD prevention and control, as well as sessions specific to their workforce and the opportunity to network with other DIS. The preliminary schedule for the conference can be viewed at: https://website.eventpower.com/23NCSD-ENGAGE/Schedule. Scholarships will cover conference registration, lodging, travel, and per diem expenses. Please note that this scholarship will not be awarded to previous scholarship recipients.

To apply for this scholarship opportunity, please take a moment to answer a few questions and share your experiences as a current DIS. Applications must be completed by Wednesday, March 15, 2023 and can be found here. The announcement of the scholarship recipients will take place in early April and recipients must satisfy the following requirements upon accepting the scholarship:

  • Obtain approval from your health department to attend STD Engage
  • Be willing to share your experience as a DIS through a poem, blog post, video, etc.
  • Be willing to share your conference experience through a blog post or success quote

If there are any additional questions regarding this opportunity, please contact: Daisha Washington ([email protected]) or Leo Parker ([email protected]).


Addressing Social Inequities and STI Disparities Webinar

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During the upcoming STI Awareness Week, join the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for a webinar, Addressing Social Inequities and STI Disparities, on Thursday, April 13th at 2pm EST as we discuss social inequities and STI disparities amongst Black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). We will be joined by Errol Fields, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., who has several years of experience in this area as he is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine within the Department of Pediatrics Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine and his clinical work focuses on primary and subspecialty care for adolescents and young adults, including gender affirming care, inclusive sexual and reproductive health care, and treatment and prevention of HIV and other STIs. During this webinar, Dr. Fields will specifically focus on syphilis and its disproportionate burden on the Black community, as well as how race and sexuality contribute to sexual health disparities, and strategies that can be employed to eliminate those disparities.


HIV, STI, and Hepatitis Resources and News


STI Awareness Week Communications Materials

STI Awareness Week will be here before you know it, beginning April 9th and ending April 15th. There’s plenty of information to share, campaigns to repost, and resources to elevate, but NACCHO’s made it a little bit easier. We’ve attached several CDC campaigns below- choose the one (or ones) that feel best for you and your community.

Prepare Before You’re There

Get Yourself Tested

Talk. Test. Treat.


New Resources on Minor Consent for STI Services

This fact sheet includes topline messages, stakeholder resources, and important documentation to support policy makers, agencies, and organizations as they work to safeguard the health of the adolescents, families, and communities they serve. Learn More.


Final Research Plan: Screening for Syphilis Infection in Pregnant Persons

From December 1, 2022 to January 4, 2023, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force posted their draft research plan on screening for syphilis infection in pregnant persons for public comment. After reviewing all of the comments, they finalized the research plan. To read more about it, check it out here.


CEDIS Program Recruiting for Experienced and Newer DI Professionals

The Coaching for Enhanced Disease Intervention Skills (CEDIS) program is accepting applications for a new cohort. The CEDIS program builds skills in interviewing, rapport-building, problem-solving, and cultural humility by matching experienced Disease Intervention (DI) professionals to newer DI professionals for an eight-week coaching program.

Newer DI professionals must be nominated by their health department to participate in the CEDIS program. To be nominated, DI professionals must be actively conducting STI and/or HIV DI work and have completed the onboarding and training required for their role. Experienced DI professionals working in health departments are encouraged to apply. Experienced DI professionals must have at least three years of current or prior frontline DI experience. Applications are due by Monday, April 3, 2023 and the cohort will begin in late April 2023.


HRC Offers New Training on Sexual Health Education

For more information about how to apply and to register for an informational session, please visit http://jsi.com/cedis.

Project Thrive is proud to present a new free training for youth serving professionals on the sexual health. Titled, Improving Sexual Health Education with Black & Latinx LGBTQ+ Young People the training will provide you with basic insights and tools for navigating the factors that impact sexual health education with Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ young people.

Upon successful completion, the training is worth at least 1 continuing education credits (CECs.) You are able to access and enroll this training as well all of our past trainings through this link.


New CDC Recommendations for Hepatitis B Virus Infection

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published Screening and Testing for Hepatitis B Virus Infection: CDC Recommendations — United States, 2023. The updated recommendations advise hepatitis B screening for all adults at least once in their lifetime. Full implementation of the recommendations will substantially improve timely diagnosis and facilitate linkage to care for persons with hepatitis B.

Previous CDC recommendations for hepatitis B testing were based on identified risk for infection. Unfortunately, far too many people with hepatitis B in the United States are not aware of their infection. Each of these individuals is a missed opportunity for preventing morbidity and mortality highlighting the need for revised guidance.


NCSD Expedited Partner Therapy Informational Packet

Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) allows partners of those diagnosed with an STI to bring medication home to their sexual partners who may not be willing to get tested. The National Coalition of STD Directors has put together a packet that reviews insurance and 340B, provider liability exemption laws, and partner packs, all regarding expedited partner therapy. Check it out here.

News to Note


Rates of Congenital Syphilis are Skyrocketing in the US. Here’s why.

Third Circuit Issues Major Decision that Could Shift 340B Landscape


Upcoming Opportunities


The End of the Public Health Emergency: What’s at Stake for the Family Planning Safety Net?

With less than 60 days until the unwinding of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) begins, family planning and sexual health providers must consider how they can mitigate Medicaid coverage loss and sustain advances in access that telehealth flexibilities have allowed. Register Here.


Anti-Criminalization and Public Health Webinars

NASTAD DUH will be hosting two webinars on Anti-Criminalization and Public Health on Thursday, March 16, from 4-5:15pm ET and Thursday, April 6, from 4-5:15pm ET. Please see below for more information, share with your networks, and register for both webinars here: Introduction to Anti-Criminalization for Public Health Departments and Anti-Criminalization in Practice for Public Health.


Engaging Communities with an HIV Status Neutral Approach Virtual Discussion

Thursday, March 16, 2023

12:00-1:15 pm Central Time

Considering the real barrier of HIV stigma, community engagement and a status neutral approach to HIV care and prevention are critical. Recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) states, “employing a status neutral approach and providing comprehensive care for all people, regardless of HIV status, can help reduce HIV stigma, prioritize health equity, and turn the tide on HIV-related disparities.” Join this virtual discussion to hear firsthand from experts in the field about engaging communities using a status neutral approach. Learning Objectives At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Define status-neutral community engagement for HIV prevention and sexual health promotion.
  • Articulate how different manifestations of medical mistrust and HIV stigma can inhibit HIV prevention efforts.
  • Determine successful practices for community engagement to reach priority populations for HIV outreach.

Intended Audience Health care providers, HIV prevention and care teams, community health workers, public health professionals, and all involved in the administration and planning of HIV care and prevention services and programs. Advance registration is required for all individuals, even if viewing in a group.


Results from a National Survey of Young Adults on Communicating with Partners about Sexual Health and Relationships

NCSH will share the results of a national survey of 1,256 young adults, which explored young adults’ communications with partners about sex, sexual health, and relationships, the barriers young adults face, the perceived benefits of open communication, and the skills and information they seek to be better communicators. (Just a little context, if this sounds familiar – at the NCSH annual meeting in September, we shared results from 16 focus groups on these topics). We will also engage in a discussion about the implications for messaging and our work moving forward.

NCSH Open Forums explore emerging issues in sexual health and provide an opportunity for discussion amongst coalition members, whether that be on changing STI screening guidelines, or the impact of new trends. They will typically include a presentation and time for open discussion.


National LGBTQ Health Awareness Week Webinar

The National Coalition for LGBTQ Health invites you to join us for a special LIVE webinar taking place during National LGBTQ Health Awareness Week 2023 (March 20 - 24). On Tuesday, March 21 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm ET, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, White House National MPox Response Deputy Coordinator, and Dr. Anu Hazra, physician at Howard Brown Health in Chicago, will provide an update for the LGBTQ community on the current state of the MPox epidemic.

This webinar will update participants on the current state of MPox nearly a year since the first case was confirmed. It will also provide an overview of how the government has responded to MPox. Faculty will review current epidemiological data and consider the impact of MPox in the LGBTQ community from a clinical perspective.

Please note that continuing education credits are not available for this webinar.


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