Director's Update

September - October 2012

Dr. Kevin Fenton
Director, NCHHSTP

Public health encompasses myriad functional areas that support disease prevention and control. This includes surveillance, recommendations on testing and treatment of disease, new and promising prevention tools, community outreach, health communication, and education. Every one of these elements and more are essential to strengthening and growing our prevention work to ensure that our efforts are sensitive, inclusive, and effective. Many of this summer’s activities mark milestones in our public health work to prevent the diseases on which we focus, such as the new recommendations on gonorrhea treatment and hepatitis C testing and the guidelines on the use of PrEP to help prevent HIV in high-risk heterosexuals. We have released campaigns to open conversations to reduce stigma and ensure persons at risk for or who have HIV, hepatitis C, or other STDs get the support and care they need. We can make a real difference if we continue to build on the coordinated and complementary findings and outcomes of our research, science, and programs.

Updated Gonorrhea Treatment Guidelines

We recently published updated gonorrhea treatment guidelines which no longer recommend an exclusively oral gonorrhea treatment regimen. They now recommend a dual therapy of injectable ceftriaxone in combination with a second antibiotic. Ceftriaxone is more potent against gonorrhea than the once-recommended oral antibiotic cefixime and, when paired with the additional oral antibiotic, might slow the emergence of drug resistance.

Clinicians will need to adhere to the new guidelines, monitor patients for treatment failure, and report suspected treatment failures. State and local health departments should maintain or rebuild the ability to perform culture testing, and partner organizations should continue to be stewards of good health by promoting safer sexual practices.

For more information, view the U.S. Cephalosporin-Resistant Gonorrhea Response Plan—developed by CDC to offer guidance to state and local health departments; the Gonorrhea Self Study Module—a Web-based training to guide clinicians; and lead author Dr. Robert Kirkcaldy’s podcast.

Let’s Stop HIV Together

In the fight against HIV, stigma and complacency are among our most formidable opponents. In July, CDC announced the nationwide launch of Let’s Stop HIV Together—a new HIV awareness and anti-stigma campaign featuring individuals with HIV who, along with their friends and family, share their personal stories and call on all Americans to join the fight against HIV. This campaign reminds us that HIV affects every corner of society, and that it will take each of us—regardless of HIV status, gender, race, or sexual orientation—working together to stop this epidemic.

The campaign is reaching millions of Americans through print, online, and outdoor advertisements and social media, including a new Act Against AIDS Facebook page and on Twitter through @TalkHIV and #StopHIVTogether. Join our efforts by sharing the campaign through your organization’s communication channels online and in your community, and visit the Act Against AIDS Web site for more information.

New from CDC

HIV-related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students

ATLAS: New Data for TB and Viral Hepatitis

New Hep C Recommendations for Baby Boomers

Upcoming Events

On the Web

Asian and Hawaiian Native and other Pacific Islanders Epi Profile