A Bimonthly e-Newsletter from NCHHSTP
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Director's Update

November - December 2014

Dr. Jonathan Mermin
Director, NCHHSTP

In September, I deployed for a month to the West African country of Sierra Leone to lead CDC’s in-country response to the Ebola outbreak. The extensive experience of CDC and partners in monitoring, treating, preventing, and communicating about infectious diseases served us well. I often reflected on my experience with NCHHSTP infections and the similar needs for mobilizing communities, ensuring good quality care, conducting contact tracing, encouraging healthy behavior, and establishing formal information feedback loops. People who have survived Ebola infection are authentic voices regarding the disease and are often the most dedicated workers. CDC remains heavily involved in West Africa and in the United States, improving public health measures, infection control, and case management. Hundreds of CDC staff members, including more than 90 from this Center, are offering their skill and expertise to CDC’s response in the field and in the Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta, GA. We are dedicated to helping the global Ebola response, but are continuing our important work in HIV, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention that will allow us to achieve our overall public health mission at home.

CDC Launches PrEPline Service for Clinicians

CDC has launched PrEPline – a free national service for clinicians seeking advice and consultation about prescribing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is a new intervention intended for persons at high risk of exposure to HIV, and involves taking a daily pill of anti-HIV medications. When taken consistently, PrEP provides a safe, effective approach to reduce the risk of new HIV infection. However, many clinicians are unfamiliar with its use. PrEPline can serve as a valuable resource for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who provide primary care for uninfected patients facing high risk of acquiring HIV. It is available at 855-HIV-PrEP (855-448-7737), from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

PrEPline is made possible through funding from CDC to HRSA for the Clinician Consultation Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). PrEPline also offers clinicians guidelines and other educational tools on PrEP. For more information on the full range of PrEPline services, please visit the UCSF PrEP page.

New CDC Health Literacy Resources

Improving health literacy is a vital step in promoting the health of the public, and CDC has identified health literacy as a priority. As defined in the Affordable Care Act, health literacy refers to the ability of a person “to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.” CDC’s new health literacy web site offers content intended for health and communication professionals, as well as the general public. Available resources include online health literacy training courses, information on culture and health literacy, suggestions for organizations to improve their communication efforts, an overview of the CDC health literacy action plan, and much more. To reach more people effectively, health professionals must provide information that is accurate, accessible, and understandable to their intended audiences. To learn more, please visit

New from CDC

TB Surveillance Report

HIV Treatment Works Campaign

HIV Risk, Prevention, and Testing Behaviors: Special Report #8

A Census Tract–Level Examination of Social Determinants of Health: PLOS ONE article

Upcoming Events

November 7 – 11, 2014
The Liver Meeting

November 15 – 19, 2014
APHA, 142nd Annual Meeting

November 16 – 22, 2014
American Education Week

December 1, 2014
World AIDS Day

On the Web

STD Communications Toolkit