Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Dallas, Texas was designated as a high morbidity area and awarded syphilis elimination funding in 2000. Prior to the syphilis elimination initiative there was limited interaction between the Dallas County STD program and community based organizations (CBOs). STD outreach screening activities were mainly conducted by individual DIS while in the field. In 1991 following a nationwide increase in P&S morbidity the Dallas STD program created a Task Force and began conducting STD/HIV outreach screening at high risk sites such as crack houses and motels where prostitution and drug use were common. At that time affected communities were not a part of the disease intervention process.
Reducing the incidence of primary and secondary syphilis cases through community involvement and targeted STD/HIV outreach screening by using a Medical Mobile Clinic.
Our syphilis elimination coalition was created in 1999 and is made up of 15 community organizations. Staff from the organizations participate in STD/HIV outreach screening activities by announcing upcoming STD/HIV screening, assisting the STD/HIV program in determining high risk screening sites, recruiting clients for testing, and providing educational materials to the community.
The Dallas County Health Department in partnership with local community based organizations provide STD/HIV outreach screening, STD/HIV clinical services, educational presentations and materials to residents in the affected communities. This poster session will present information about the syphilis elimination media campaign, printed brochures, incentives, syphilis memorabilia, syphilis morbidity statistics, coalition building and the advantages of using a Mobile Medical Clinic for outreach efforts.
Partnering with CBOs and other community organizations combined with outreach STD/HIV screening in high incidence geographic areas and educating the public through an ongoing media campaign is essential in reducing the incidence of early syphilis cases. The acquisition of a Mobile Medical Clinic will improve screening activities by bringing STD/HIV services to the affected communities.
Targeted outreach screening is essential to syphilis elimination efforts. This activity is enhanced and is more productive when the community is involved and is an active participant in the process. Outreach screening venues provide an excellent opportunity to conduct a variety of behavioral surveys on high risk populations.