P68 Using An HIV/STD Sentinel Network to Identify Local Health Department (LHD) Activities, Barriers, and Practice Realities in LHD HIV/STD Prevention Efforts

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Pre-Function Lobby & Grand Ballroom D2/E (M4) (Omni Hotel)
Kate Petersen, MPH and Lauren Shirey, MPH, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Washington, DC

Background: Information about the HIV/STD prevention services, programs, and policies at the nearly 3,000 local health departments (LHDs) in the U.S. is not well characterized by current research.

Objectives: To understand the nature and extent of  HIV/STD prevention services and strategies as well as barriers, facilitators of success, and other practice realities in LHDs to inform CDC and LHD policy and practice.

Methods: The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) developed the HIV/STD Prevention Sentinel Network (SN) by recruiting approximately 85 U.S. LHDs of varying size, geographic distribution and HIV/STD incidence  and prevalence  to complete online queries bi-monthly about specific HIV/STD prevention topics and services in their jurisdiction and to provide information about the relevance and implementation of CDC  policies at the local level.

Results: Five queries have been conducted since April 2008, with response rates ranging from 21-51%. Queries  have examined barriers to local HIV/STD prevention,  the implementation of program collaboration and service integration for delivering HIV, STD, TB and Viral Hepatitis services at LHDs, the use of “homegrown” HIV/STD interventions developed using local data, and a variety of other  HIV/STD prevention topics of interest to CDC , NACCHO, and LHDs themselves.

Conclusions: The HIV/STD Prevention SN provides a unique mechanism for gaining  a snapshot view of the realities of HIV/STD prevention at LHDs and to provide CDC with feedback about a population with whom they  do not typically have direct contact.  The SN also provides a means to connect LHDs to one another to share models for HIV/STD prevention that are effective in their communities.

Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: While the Sentinel Network is not a representative sample of all LHDs in the United States, query results  provide information about the HIV/STD prevention capacities and realities and assist in identifying practices to  meet the  HIV/STD prevention needs of LHDs and they communities they serve.

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