Tuesday, February 14, 2006

New HIV/STD Community Resources Directory

After having perfected* the HIV/STD Community Resources Directory in its last edition, the DSHS HIV/STD Program has now abandoned printing the directory in favor of an online edition in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. [sigh] With that not-so-minor gripe, the directory continues to be an invaluable resource, not only for information and referral services, but also to understanding how the way that the community provides resources for this epidemic is changing.

In that sense, HIV/AIDS is becoming mainstream in Texas. There are fewer stand-alone ASO's than there were 15 years ago; more and more services are being provided through health departments and clinics that provide broader health services. There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages in those changes. If HIV becomes more integrated into health care in general, they may be more resources to apply to services and care. The other side of that coin is the risk that the special needs of the HIV/AIDS affected population will get lost in a bigger system.

The Community Resources page for the HIV/STD program provides links to lists of planning councils and other resources across the state. The Community Resources Directory link on that page leads directly to the PDF file (in case you lose this one).

*It's just my quirk, I'm sure, but I liked the looseleaf format. I could make notes and add pages. Nothing stops me from printing this one out, of course, except a substantial investment in toner, but this is one more little sign of the cuts in funding for services.

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