Friday, April 21, 2006

STD Awareness Month

If it's April, it's STD Awareness Month. This month is an annual campaign to promote education about STDs and their prevention.

The HIV Program at the Texas Department of State Health Services has distributed the following list of related events being held in Texas:

AUSTIN

The Wright House Wellness Center is hosting a health seminar entitled, "I Need to Know: HIV/AIDS Breakthroughs" on Friday, April 28 at the Hilton Austin Airport. The seminar will feature breakfast and lunch speakers and breakout workshops that will offer CEUs for those qualified attendees. Registration deadline is noon on Friday, April 21. For more information, contact Suni Niang at 512-467-0088, ext. 16, or suni AT thewrighthouse.org.

The DSHS HIV/STD Program conducted an "STD 101" course on April 10 at the DSHS main campus to educate non-Program employees about HIV and other STDs. In addition, the Program hosted an HIV/STD exhibit at the Health and Human Services Commission's annual Wellness Fair on April 12. For more information, contact Greg Beets at greg.beets AT dshs.state.tx.us, or 512-533-3025.

CORPUS CHRISTI

On April 7, the prevention staff from the Coastal Bend AIDS Foundation (CBAF) provided education on HIV/AIDS/STDs to medical students at Career Centers of Texas in Corpus Christi. The Career Centers of Texas is a private for profit organization that provides educational classes for those aspiring to obtain a career in the health field. On April 12 and 13, CBAF hosted a two-day STD training. CBAF staff attended this training with staff from Corpus Christi Family Planning, South Texas Substance Abuse Recovery Service (STSARS), and staff from the Valley AIDS Council and Planned Parenthood of Hidalgo County.

DALLAS

The Dallas County Syphilis Elimination Coalition put on a two-day display of media, outreach, testing, and education efforts on April 4 and 5 in collaboration with the Dallas County Health Department, LaSima Foundation, and Resource Center Dallas. Free testing for Syphilis and HIV was conducted during the entire week at the Dallas County Health and Human Services building. For more information, please contact Monica Tunstle Garrett at 214-819-2155 or Latrenia Banks at 214-928-9303.

During the month of April, the Dallas County Health Department's Mobile Medical Clinic is being dispatched to various locations in Dallas County with high levels of syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea morbidity. For locations and times, please call 1-866-4EZ-CURE, or call the Dallas County Health Department at 214-819-2155.

EL PASO


Planned Parenthood Center of El Paso (PPCEP) sponsored a "Beat STDs" piƱata party at the University of Texas at El Paso's (UTEP) Student Union Square. The event was co-sponsored by the UTEP Student Development Center and various student organizations like VOX, Lambda, and an international health promoters program funded by Georgetown University. The event featured testing, an "HIV 101" class, and distribution of safer sex kits and educational material. For more information, contact Tony Ramos at 915-543-3062.

Other related activities carried out by PPCEP's Community Education Dept. in April include:
  • Abstinence sessions at four El Paso area high schools and middle schools
  • STD/HIV presentations at Ft. Bliss' Army Substance Abuse Program
  • One-on-one sessions with community youth
  • Education sessions for homeless persons at the Opportunity Center
  • STD presentations at two El Paso area drug rehabilitation programs
  • "Relationships and Intimacy" workshop at Paso Del Norte alternative high school
  • Educational outreach at El Paso's Juvenile Probation Department
  • Special presentations conducted with Male Involvement Conference at Job Corps, El Paso Young Father's Coalition, and UTEP's nursing program.

For more information about these community education sessions, please contact Rosie Rodriquez at 915-544-8195.

LAREDO


The City of Laredo Health Department conducted several STD health fairs and HIV/STD screening events around the city during April. Event locations include the City of Laredo Health Department building, Webb County Jail, Concilio Hispano Drug Rehabilitation Center, and the Bethany House Homeless Shelter. For more information, please contact Arturo Diaz, Jr. at adiaz2 AT ci.laredo.tx.us.

LUFKIN

Health Horizons conducted three health fairs in Jasper and Lufkin during April for National STD Awareness Month. The fairs were held at the Jasper Circuit United Methodist Church, the Hope Center of North Lufkin, and the Faith to Faith Church in Lufkin. On April 6, For more information, please contact Beverly Anders at beverlyanders AT hotmail.com.

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