Director's Update

November - December 2013

Dr. Jonathan Mermin
Director, NCHHSTP

During the days of the partial government shutdown, public health did not take a holiday. Viral hepatitis, STDs, TB, and HIV continued to be diagnosed and contact investigations and treatments needed. Your ongoing work to protect the public’s health during that difficult time is greatly appreciated. We have worked to ensure the least amount of disruption to our scientific, programmatic, and administrative work. Even with the partial shutdown, we published an MMWR article on October 18, Availability of an Assay for Detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Including Rifampin-Resistant Strains, and Considerations for Its Use — United States, 2013, followed a week later by the release of CDC provisional guidelines for a new MDR TB drug and a new Public Health Report Supplement, Applying Social Determinants of Health to Public Health Practice. We will continue to keep you informed about our scientific and programmatic activities and the Fiscal Year 2014 budget as we receive information. Thank you for your commitment to public health, and I hope you enjoy this issue of Connections.

2014 STD Prevention Conference

The 2014 STD Prevention Conference, in collaboration with the 15th International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI) World Congress and 2nd Latin American IUSTI-Latin American and Caribbean Association for the Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ALAC-ITS) Congress, will be held in Atlanta next June. This is the first time this conference has featured both domestic and international participation. Abstracts for oral and poster presentations will be accepted through November 15. Partners for the 2014 STD Prevention Conference include The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention; The American Sexual Health Association; The American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association; The International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections; The National Coalition of STD Directors; and The Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information about the Conference and instructions for submitting an abstract, please visit

New Provisional Guidelines for MDR TB Drug

On October 25, CDC released new guidelines on the use of bedaquiline fumarate, a new drug available to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) - Provisional CDC Guidelines for the Use and Safety Monitoring of Bedaquiline Fumarate (Sirturo TM) for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis. Bedaquiline, which received accelerated FDA approval in December 2012, belongs to the first new class of TB drugs to be approved to treat this deadly disease in over 40 years. Informed by a review of the science and extensive consultation with TB experts, CDC developed these guidelines for health care providers to ensure use of this critically important tool in the fight against TB. Bedaquiline should be used for adults with laboratory-confirmed pulmonary MDR TB when no other treatment options exist. CDC will monitor the use of this drug and update guidance as additional information becomes available.

New from CDC

Know Hepatitis B campaign materials

Fact Sheet: HIV Infection among Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in the U.S. and Dependent Areas

Fact Sheet: HIV Infection among Asians in the U. S. and Dependent Areas

Upcoming Events

On the Web

Public Health Reports Special Supplement: Applying Social Determinants of Health to Public Health Practice