Background: From May, 2009 through February 2010, DSTDP hosted one-day gonorrhea control discussion meetings in the 10 HHS regions. These meetings highlight 1) persistent heavy disease burden among young African-Americans, 2) the potential for Neisseria gonorrhoeae to develop antimicrobial resistance to cephalosporins, and 3) the need to incorporate GC into infertility prevention efforts.
Objectives: By the end of this session, participants will be able to 1) identify several GC prevention strategies, 2) describe common elements of state-level GC prevention action plans, and 3) identify specific examples of states using local surveillance data to identify populations at risk for GC.
Methods: The regional meetings began with an overview of gonorrhea epidemiology and prevention strategies, then health departments presented their local epidemiology, challenges, and prevention activities. During a breakout discussion, states developed 3 – 6 month actions plans. Afterwards, STD leaders worked with local staff and key partners to implement planned activities. Follow-up measures include 3 and 6 month calls from Program Consultants and updates in subsequent IPP meetings.
Results: Each of the regional GC meetings was well received by participating STD directors and epidemiologists. STD program leaders identified specific at risk populations and developed action plans using these strategies: enhance screening, partner services, access to care, and engaging communities.
Conclusions: Though many were initially skeptical, most participants found the meetings constructive and helpful in considering strategies to address their GC morbidity.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: One-day regional program focused meetings with key participants offer a format that should be considered for other program improvement activities. STD Directors participating in regional GC meetings have a greater appreciation of GC epidemiology and prevention strategies; this knowledge may be used to construct policies to support successful interventions.