Friday, September 30, 2005

Request from the Clinton Foundation

The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative is seeking experienced HIV nurses and nurse practitioners to work as clinical preceptors in Lesotho for 6-12 week assignments. The program will begin in November and continue for approximately 1 year.

For more information, contact Anne Sliney, ACRN, at or call 401 487-2700.

Americorps Funding Opportunity

Under funding authority CFDA# 94.006
Corporation for National and Community Service

OneStar National Service Commission is accepting applications from eligible organizations for 2006 - 2009 AmeriCorps*State competition. OneStar anticipates awarding over $6.6 million in grants to place AmeriCorps members in service in Texas communities.

Step 1: Go to to download the Organizational Readiness Assessment, the Program Planning Toolkit, and the Application Instructions.

Step 2: Submit a Notice of Intent to Apply by Oct. 21, 2005. (optional but strongly encouraged)

Step 3: Submit your completed Application. OneStar must receive your application by mail or drop off in our office by Nov. 18, 2005 at 6 p.m. CST. No e-mail submissions.

Conference Call Help Sessions: Send an e-mail to to sign up. Dates are 10/14, 10/27 & 11/2. Times to be announced.

Questions? 512-473-2140 x 228 (voice mail)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

New Tip Sheet on Medicare and AIDS

If you (or your clients) are covered by Medicare, the new Part D coverage to provide prescription drugs is now a matter of some importance. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a new "tip sheet" in Question and Answer format to address some of the questions that a person living with HIV might have. For example:

Question: Since the new Medicare prescription drug coverage is voluntary,
can I not join a Medicare drug plan and remain on ADAP ?

Food Stamps for Rita

Special Food Stamp Assistance Now Available for Families Affected by Rita

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission received rapid approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow the state to provide disaster food stamp assistance to individuals and families displaced by Hurricane Rita.

The USDA-approved waiver [PDF] applies to food stamp applicants in nine Texas counties and one Louisiana parish declared a disaster area as a result of Hurricane Rita. The program allows HHSC to act quickly to provide families with assistance by waiving certain eligibility requirements. Eligible families can receive assistance for up to 90 days.

Residents of Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newtown, Orange and Tyler counties, as well as Beauregard parish, can apply for disaster food stamps through any Texas Health and Human Services Commission field office. To find the nearest office, evacuees should call 2-1-1 or 1-888-312-4567.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Non-HIV Specialists Caring for Hurricane Displaced PWAs Get Guidelines

Recommendations for Non-HIV-Specialized Providers Caring for Displaced HIV-Infected Residents from the Hurricane Disasters: Essential Information for Managing HIV-Infected Patients Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy

Some HIV-infected patients may have interrupted their antiretroviral therapy and other medications due to the recent hurricane disasters. The following information provides some guidance to general practitioners attending to the medical needs of displaced HIV-infected adult or pediatric patients who have not yet secured HIV care in the local area. Management of antiretroviral therapy is complex and is best done with the assistance of specialized clinicians. Medical consultation may also be available at specific local or regional HIV clinics or via the 24-hour NIH Medical Consultation Services at 866/887-2842 or the National HIV Telephone Consultation Service at 800/933-3413.

Emtriva: New Formulation and Labeling Change

On September 28, 2005, The Food and Drug Administration approved EMTRIVA (emtricitabine) Oral Solution 10 mg/mL. The approval of this Oral Solution formulation allows for dosing recommendations in pediatric patients. EMTRIVA is now indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents, for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in patients over three months of age.

Additional changes to the package insert were made.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Listserv for CBO's Helping Katrina Survivors

The CDC National Prevention Information Network has established a listserv for providers working with Hurricane Katrina evacuees. These providers are encouraged to post any needs they may have on the listserv. Those needs will be reviewed by other organizations across the country, who may reply and offer their support.

Friday, September 23, 2005

New KFF Fact Sheets

The Kaiser Family Foundation has updated the following fact sheets.
  • The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States - features the most recent estimates for HIV prevalence in the United States, key trends, and data on the U.S. Government's response to the epidemic.
  • Medicaid and HIV/AIDS - examines Medicaid eligibility, benefits, spending, caseload, and the profile of beneficiaries with HIV/AIDS, and projects the future outlook of the program.
  • Medicare and HIV/AIDS - examines coverage provided under Medicare for people with HIV/AIDS and looks at the impact of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit and other aspects of the program's future.

HUD, FEMA Announce Housing Assistance

HUD and the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier today their new "Comprehensive Transitional Housing Assistance Program for Katrina Evacuees." Click here to read the press release detailing the new assistance offered by FEMA and HUD.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

STD Communications Database

After looking at the Focus Groups on STD Communications, I checked out the STD Communications Database. This is a CDC website that contains a searchable database of articles and monographs that can assist health professionals in talking to clients and communities about STDs more effectively. The user can search the database in terms based on behaviors, barriers, knowledge and awareness, interventions, communication channels, diseases, and audience.

A search using "Texas" and "condom distribution" brought back 34 articles. The results included abstracts, summary results, and information about the quality of the article.

The site also includes useful information about design principles, so that the user can design more effective educational materials.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Focus Groups on STD Communications

Just wandering around on the Internet can be an enlightening activity. That's how I stumbled across this report on some focus groups held in 2004 to find out more about what the general public knew and thought about STDs. Some of the focus groups were held in McAllen, Texas.

The Executive Summary is a very interesting read. Just cherry-picking some of the comments:

For most participants, STDs were not a major health concern. They said this was because other health conditions were more of a concern for them and because they just do not think of STDs except for AIDS.

. . .

The American Red Cross, CDC, and Planned Parenthood were frequently mentioned as specific organizations that would be trusted. Other trusted organizations include community-based organizations, doctors’ offices, health departments/clinics, and insurance companies. Participants further stated that they would not trust information developed by pharmaceutical companies.

Participants had mixed reactions to the notion of a specific spokesperson for an STD campaign. Some participants believed that individuals who have, or are affected by, a particular STD would be most appropriate. They also believed that other reputable celebrities with knowledge of health issues, such as the U.S. Surgeon General, would be appropriate representatives to speak about STDs. Other participants stated that the most believable spokesperson would be an "average person" who has been affected by an STD. These participants believed that this person would be able to provide a credible testimonial about his/her experience with STDs. African American participants believed that the most effective spokesperson to deliver STD messages to their community would be an African American person.

. . .

Across all segments participants stated that the main point of materials should be factual information about the diseases, their symptoms, and means to prevent them. Participants expressed that prevention information should focus on abstinence, safer sex, and condom usage. In addition, participants noted the importance of including resource information about whom to contact with questions or when experiencing symptoms.

. . .

Across the groups, participants recognized the need to be "realistic" about people engaging in sexual activity. This recognition led participants to suggest that a combination of abstinence and condom usage messages would be appropriate. Most people agreed that messages should focus on abstinence as an effective method to prevent STDs, but that providing information on using condoms correctly to reduce the likelihood of contracting STDs was imperative.

As I said, interesting.

Friday, September 09, 2005

DSHS HIV/STD Offices Move to Central Location

The HIV/STD Offices of the Texas State Department of Health Services recently relocated to a more central location in Austin. The "new" offices are located in the old complex of the Austin State School, near the main DSHS campus.

New Phone Numbers

Main Phone Number:512.533.3000

Texas HIV Medication Program:1.800.255.1090(same number as before)

New Fax Numbers

Medication Orders:512.371.4671

All other faxes for THMP:512.371.4677

The division's mailing address remains the same (1100 W. 49th St, Austin, 78756), but the new physical address is: 4110 Guadalupe, Building 636, Austin, Texas 78751.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Simplified ADAP Access for Hurricane Displaced PWAs

For displaced persons living with HIV/AIDS Due to the recent tragedy, the Texas HIV Medication Program (THMP) has developed a one-page "Emergency Relief ADAP Application" that may be completed by displaced residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama that have sought refuge in Texas and would normally receive their medications through their state AIDS Drug Assistance Program. The form should be completed and faxed along with a copy of the applicant's photo ID, ADAP ID card/letter (if available). A copy of the THMP Medical Certification should also be submitted if the client is receiving healthcare now at a Texas location. The fax number is (512) 371-4670.

A copy of the Emergency Relief ADAP Application can be found in PDF format by clicking here.

A copy of the information release regarding this effort can be found in PDF format by clicking here.

The standard THMP Medical Certification form can be found in PDF format by clicking here.

The Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) also has extended emergency refill supply time to aid emergency relief. For more information, click here, or visit the TSBP website.