Director's Update

May - June 2013

Dr. Rima Khabbaz
Acting Director, NCHHSTP

Greetings! In April, we observed National Minority Health Month with commentary by Dr. Hazel Dean, NCHHSTP Deputy Director, and activities, including CDC’s Grand Rounds and the release of a supplemental HIV Surveillance Report, Social Determinants of Health among Adults with Diagnosed HIV Infection in 18 Areas, 2005–2009. This milestone report provides critical data about the environment in which people lived at the time of HIV diagnosis. It examines social determinants of health variables, including the percentage of the population living below the federal poverty level, percentage with less than a high school education, percentage unemployed, and the median household income. Overcoming these health disparities and others is one of the top goals of the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2011 National Prevention Strategy, the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and HHS’ Healthy People 2020, which identifies the creation of “social and physical environments that promote good health for all” as one of the four overarching goals for the decade. With ongoing data collection, national support, and our changing health care system, we can improve and ensure the health of the nation. I look forward to our ongoing work together.

Vital Signs: Hepatitis C Testing

In recognition of Hepatitis Awareness Month, CDC released today a Vital Signs report on hepatitis C testing. The findings underscore the important impact of hepatitis C among baby boomers (people born from 1945 through 1965). Baby boomers accounted for 67 percent of all reported hepatitis C cases and 72 percent of all reported deaths among people with hepatitis C. The report, which summarized data from eight enhanced hepatitis C surveillance sites across the country, also shows that only half (51 percent) of those reported with hepatitis C received follow-up testing. Without follow-up testing, people do not know if they are still infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

CDC also published Testing for HCV Infection: An Update of Guidance for Clinicians and Laboratorians. CDC issued this updated guidance because of changes in the availability of certain commercial HCV antibody tests; evidence that many people might not get the needed follow-up testing; and significant hepatitis C treatment advances. The guidance will help ensure people receive the testing needed to identify those with current HCV infection.

HIV/AIDS Web Site Redesign

Last month, CDC launched its redesigned HIV Web site—one of the most visited HIV sites on the Internet. The new site still includes the latest HIV prevention information, materials, research findings, policies, and guidelines, but is now designed to be more responsive with better navigation. Resources for the general public have been expanded to include an updated frequently asked question and answer section, a calendar of upcoming events, greater compatibility with mobile devices, and content syndication capability. Content syndication will allow CDC’s content to be syndicated so that when the CDC site is updated, the users’ site is updated too! These changes are a result of a collaborative effort between CDC and partners, extensive research on best practices, and usability studies.

We hope that you will continue to use this site and pass the word along to colleagues.

New from CDC

National Shortage of Purified-Protein Derivative Tuberculin Products

Rapid HIV Online Training Course

In the Know: Social Media for Public Health Webcast Series

Upcoming Events

On the Web

Integrated Data Security and Confidentiality Webinar