About Louisiana’s STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program
The Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program’s (SHHP’s) mission is to end the impacts of HIV, hepatitis and STIs, or sexually transmitted diseases/infections, by eliminating related health inequities and stigma for all communities in Louisiana. To read more about SHHP’s mission, vision and values, click here.
SHHP coordinates a number of statewide and regional programs designed to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and STIs, to ensure the availability of quality medical and social services for individuals living with or affected by HIV, hepatitis and STIs, and to track the impact of these infections in Louisiana.
SHHP provides and ensures quality client-centered services and education for the citizens of Louisiana through the following units:
The Administrative team supports each of SHHP’s units and serve as SHHP’s gatekeepers. Responsibilities include being receptionists, greeting guests and staff, addressing and routing calls, disseminating incoming mail, handling shipments, and recording meetings.
They also act as Human Resource liaisons, supporting the hiring and exiting of employees, and processing meetings and conference travels. They further support expediting memorandums of understanding and handling payment requests, ordering, invoicing, tracking all equipment and supplies, and budget preparation.
The Business Unit is in short a guardian of SHHP’s financial resources. Currently, there are over 20 different federal and other sources of funding that SHHP receives. The guardianship of resources takes many forms. From participating in federal grant application processes to organizing the submission of SHHP’s Organization Budget to the OPH Budget Office, to developing, submitting and obtaining approval of the various provider contracts, Request For Proposals (RFPs), Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs), Inter-agency transfers (IATs), to securing provider payments, to recording, tracking, reviewing and analyzing of expenditures. Expenditure review and analysis provides the opportunity to reallocate or redistribute funds for optimum use of available resources. The whole business activity is not contained within SHHP. The Business Unit staff interact with various State bodies outside of SHHP (the OPH Budget and Fiscal offices, the LDH Legal Office, LDH Procurement Office, the DOA Office of State Procurement) to secure the necessary approval for contracts, payments and budget realignments.
Capacity Building and Community Mobilization
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, the CBCM Unit aims to address the HIV, STI, and hepatitis epidemics and contribute to health equity efforts in Louisiana.
Data Management and Analysis
This unit collects, manages, analyzes and disseminates data collected through Prevention and Services Program activities. Prevention data include HIV/STI/Hepatitis testing, HIV partner services, HIV linkage to care and treatment data, wellness center data, and adolescent surveys. Services data include Ryan White Part B services, ADAP applicant and pharmacy claims data, and Health Insurance Program services. The unit also manages data for several special projects including projects using Medicaid data, REDCap survey development and administration, and Ending the HIV Epidemic activities.
Health Information Systems
HIV Care and Treatment Services
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. With funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 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 health insurance assistance, medications assistance, case management, transportation, rent and utilities, supplemental food items, legal services, emergency assistance, and other needed support services.
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.
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, STI, hepatitis, and TB-related information and referrals for populations of our community most at risk. In addition, the HIV/AIDS Program coordinates statewide planning process.
The Regional Field Operations Unit is responsible for ‘Partner Services’ throughout the state of Louisiana to prevent and control infectious diseases. ‘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 who are at the forefront of disease intervention work and also lend their expertise during urgent outbreak situations. They are trained in contact tracing, case analysis, linkage to medical care and social resources, and provider and community engagement. As the health care landscape evolves, DIS are needed even more as patient navigators and network builders to ensure patients are linked to care through expanded relationships with health care providers. DIS are a critical part of the public health infrastructure and in building the link to health care.
Research and Evaluation
The Research and Evaluation Unit is responsible for examining the services provided to persons impacted by HIV, STIs and hepatitis, and the prevention activities targeted at reducing the spread of these infections in Louisiana. This unit utilizes evidence-based methods to ensure the quality and effectiveness of those services and activities, and ultimately to make recommendations for improvements that enable SHHP to more efficiently achieve its goals.
With funding from the CDC and HRSA, this unit is responsible for developing and implementing evaluation plans, training staff from SHHP and contracted community-based organizations, managing and analyzing data, and disseminating results through reports, presentations, and articles. These 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.
This section is responsible for monitoring HIV, progression to AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and STI diagnoses throughout the state. The collection, management, and analysis of surveillance data support the planning of prevention efforts and guide the allocation of resources for outreach, screening, linkage to treatment, medical care, and other supportive services.
With funding from the CDC and in accordance with the Louisiana Sanitary Code, SHHP conducts general case ascertainment through the receipt of laboratory test results and reports of potential diagnoses of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B/C, and STIs from clinical providers, laboratories and other public health providers throughout the state. Basic demographic and risk information are collected. With these data, staff monitor perinatal (birthing parent to child) exposure/transmission, clinical manifestations of 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 internally and externally to medical providers, other agencies, 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 STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program in allocating state and federal resources to communities in the most responsive manner possible.
Sam Burgess, MHA
Anthony James, MS, MA, MSHCM
Deputy Director of Programs
Franda Thomas, MEd
Deputy Director of Operations