California: HIV Prevention Director Ups Public Role
April 25, 2008
The HIV prevention director at San Francisco's Department of Public Health began the first of several neighborhood meetings by asking residents "where we should best put our resources to stop the epidemic in San Francisco."
Colfax is working with health providers to ensure routine voluntary rapid-result HIV screening. He has also expanded more sensitive RNA testing at several sites to catch infections earlier than typical tests. Colfax and department staff members are working with San Francisco General Hospital to implement a $250,000, CDC-funded rapid HIV testing program in its emergency room that will begin in May.
There are many San Franciscans who still do not know they are HIV-positive, Colfax said. "If we can help these people find out they are positive, then we know their risk behaviors will change," he said.
Colfax said he is also looking into addressing drug use among "party guys," men who use drugs only occasionally but who put themselves at risk for HIV when they do. Among occasional methamphetamine users, who constitute 80 percent of all meth users, HIV transmission "is significant," he noted.
Bay Area Reporter
04.24.2008; Matthew S. Bajko
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.