Mobile Version - March - April 2020
From the Director Dr. Jonathan Mermin
Health departments, community-based organizations, and healthcare systems are all impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. All are maximizing resources and evaluating and testing people for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As of this writing, there are 179,111 cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with 7,038 cases in the United States. CDC has specific recommendations for travel, schools & childcare, businesses & employers, and community & faith-based organizations.
Although CDC staff are involved in many of the activities to stop the spread of this virus, we continue to work toward eliminating TB and reducing the health effects of other conditions, as is seen with the work of World TB Day, which is observed on March 24. This is a day to reflect on accomplishments in TB as well as what still needs to be done to eliminate TB in the United States. Our successes include expanded number of tests and shorter treatment regimens for latent TB infection. In order to continue our progress, a dual approach is needed to reduce the burden of TB in the United States, including strengthening existing TB programs and treating people with latent TB infection. Our health care systems will play an increasingly important role in expanding testing and treatment of latent TB infection. To help achieve this goal, CDC and the National TB Controllers Association (NTCA) recently published "Guidelines for the Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection" in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Recommendations and Reports. CDC and NTCA preferentially recommend short-course, rifamycin-based, 3- or 4-month latent TB infection treatment regimens. These are effective, safe, and allow providers to treat larger numbers of people who are at risk for TB disease. I encourage you to review the new latent TB infection treatment guidelines, along with inviting you to participate in this year's World TB Day activities.
STD Awareness Week
In public health, one constant we always experience is change. It's important to be flexible and adapt to new environments. In years past, April has served as STD Awareness Month. After evaluating our past efforts we decided to now focus on the second full week of April for STD Awareness. Every community has different needs when it comes to prevention. CDC has four diverse STD prevention campaigns to help in those efforts.
What's New in AtlasPlus
Recently CDC's AtlasPlus was updated to include new county-level maps for HIV diagnoses, chlamydia diagnoses, tuberculosis diagnoses, and households living below the federal poverty level, and more. In addition, a new Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative indicator on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) coverage was added to AtlasPlus at the national, state, and EHE-designated county level. PrEP coverage, reported as a percentage, provides information on the number of people who have been prescribed PrEP divided by the estimated number of people who have indications for PrEP in respective area. AtlasPlus is an interactive tool that draws from more than 15 years of CDC's surveillance data on HIV, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB.
2020 Let's Stop HIV Together
The Let's Stop HIV Together campaign includes resources and partnerships aimed at stopping HIV stigma and promoting HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. The Ambassador program of the campaign officially launched. This program consists of 20 community leaders tasked to expand the reach and influence of HIV prevention campaigns and other CDC resources at the local level through community engagement events. The program focuses efforts that reach populations highly impacted by HIV and in alignment with jurisdictions identified in the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE).