The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) HIV/STD Program has the duty to identify, report, prevent, and control HIV, AIDS, and STDs in the State of Texas.
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Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory Offers N. gonorrhoeae Culture and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a Dear Colleague Letter describing two gonococcal infections with concerning lab results identified in Massachusetts (see clinical alert). The first case had a cultured isolate that showed decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone, cefixime, and azithromycin, as well as resistance to ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and penicillin. Molecular testing confirmed that the reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone was caused by a mutation in the penA60 allele, and a second case was found to have the penA60 allele through molecular surveillance. Although both cases were successfully clinically and microbiologically cured following treatment with ceftriaxone, these findings are concerning. Clinicians should be vigilant for suspected gonorrhea treatment failure. The Texas DSHS fact sheet Management of Gonorrhea Treatment Failure is a clinical resource.
The Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory is now offering N. gonorrhoeae culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) free of charge to all submitters in Texas. Providers are encouraged to enroll as a Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory submitter now and order specimen collection swabs from the laboratory. Please see full notice from the Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory.
Expedited Partner Therapy
Sexually transmitted infections continue to increase despite years-long prevention efforts to reduce the transmission of undiagnosed infections. Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is an intervention that has demonstrated successful outcomes by making it possible for providers to reach exposed partners who are unable or unwilling to come to the clinic. EPT is endorsed by CDC and many health organizations, like the Texas Medical Association. The HIV/STD Section Director released a Dear Provider Letter containing DSHS provider recommendations to routinely offer EPT to clients and promote partner treatment. Learn more about Expedited Partner Therapy in Texas.
Exploring an Epidemic: Congenital Syphilis in Texas Podcast
Exploring an Epidemic: Congenital Syphilis in Texas is a podcast series designed to increase awareness and build shared knowledge in the management and prevention of syphilis and congenital syphilis for the public health workforce and their partner agencies who care for people of reproductive age and their babies. The series focuses on key strategies for providers, clinical administrators, clinic support staff, DIS, and the community to decrease the rising rate of syphilis and congenital syphilis in Texas. It aims to enhance syphilis screening, provide timely syphilis treatment, and work collaboratively to prevent new cases of congenital syphilis.
The podcast is a collaborative effort with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Congenital Syphilis team, PHFU staff, and the Denver Prevention Training Center. Listeners can find the podcast on platforms such as Apple, Spotify, and Google podcast by searching “Exploring an Epidemic: Congenital Syphilis in Texas.” Listen to the Exploring an Epidemic Podcast.
Home Testing and Home Self-Collection Guidance
DSHS provided interim guidance on the creation of policies for the use of FDA-approved home testing kits for HIV and Laboratory Developed Tests for self-collection kits for HIV, STDs, hepatitis C, and tests required for PrEP prescriptions. This interim guidance is intended for use by programs funded or otherwise supported by the DSHS HIV/STD Section. Learn more about home testing | Home Testing and Self Collection Guidance
This site contains HIV or STD messages that may not be deemed appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV and other STDs are spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, messages, and programs may address these topics. If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please exit this website. Photos on this website are all posed by a model.