Components of the Surveillance Program

The mission of the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program is to

  • Monitor the HIV/AIDS epidemic over time;
  • Describe the changing characteristics of the epidemic;
  • Define its impact on various subpopulations;
  • Identify trends in modes of HIV transmission;
  • Monitor behaviors associated with HIV transmission;
  • Evaluate compliance with current Department of Health and Human Services. recommendations for care and treatment; and
  • Define mortality of HIV disease.

The Surveillance Program’s efforts are not complete until data have been compiled, analyzed and used by public health, medical, educational and general communities in the state.

Utilization of these data includes:

  • Increasing public understanding of HIV disease;
  • Assessing and directing prevention programs;
  • Evaluating prevention activities and services for persons living with HIV/AIDS;
  • Improving referral systems for appropriate prevention and care; and
  • Guiding public health policy.

 

The primary components of the Surveillance Program are:

Active Case Ascertainment

Field epidemiologists conduct active case surveillance in all geographic regions in Louisiana.

Reporting sites include a broad spectrum of health care facilities (inpatient and outpatient, public, private and federal), hospitals (within hospitals - ICP, medical records, social services, pharmacy, labs), other in-patient facilities (extended care facilities, hospices, nursing homes), STD/HIV clinics, physician offices, other medical clinics, laboratories, blood and plasma centers, home health agencies, chemical dependency facilities, psychiatric units and correctional facilities.

Field epidemiologists are in routine contact with all reporting sites to help ensure complete reporting.

For more information about Active Case Ascertainment, contact:

Your Regional Field Epidemiologist or

Susan B. Brodie, MT (ASCP), MSPH
Field Epidemiologist Supervisor
STD/HIV Surveillance Program
1450 Poydras St, Suite 2136
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 568-7474

Laboratory Surveillance

The Laboratory Surveillance program maintains active reporting from laboratories, a critical part of case ascertainment.

Since 1993-1994, when surveillance systems were revised to accommodate HIV (non-AIDS) reporting and the immunologic criteria of the new AIDS case definition, laboratories have been an important source of surveillance data for HIV infection. Additionally, evaluation studies have shown laboratory reporting to be efficient and timely.

In 1999, Louisiana's Sanitary Code was revised to make reportable all HIV/AIDS-related tests (CD4 counts and viral loads). To accommodate the high volume of incoming laboratory data, this program has developed computer-based electronic reporting as well as a more expansive data management system to accommodate the incoming data.

In 2019, the Sanitary Code was appended to mandate the reporting of all test results, positive or negative, for hepatitis C virus, HIV, and syphilis. This reporting requirement is for laboratories only, and only for laboratories that report via electronic reporting mechanisms.

The STD/HIV Program coordinates with other OPH programs in the reporting system of other reportable conditions including STDs, tuberculosis and emerging pathogens.

For more information about the Laboratory Surveillance Program, contact: ELR@la.gov or for more information, please visit: https://ldh.la.gov/page/electronic-laboratory-reporting-elr-in-louisiana

Perinatal Surveillance

The Perinatal Surveillance Program monitors perinatal transmission rates, counseling and testing, and prenatal care among women living with HIV and syphilis.  The program also monitors treatment issues for the women and their infants.

A data abstraction form is completed for all children born to women with HIV or syphilis infection reported to OPH.  The babies exposed to HIV are followed at six-month intervals to determine their HIV status and, if infectedm follow their course of treatment.

For more information about the STD/HIV Perinatal Surveillance Program, contact:

Elizabeth Lindsay, MPH
STD/HIV Surveillance Program
1450 Poydras St, Suite 2136
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 568-7474

HIV Incidence Surveillance

Incidence Surveillance was established in late 2004 in Louisiana to identify and study new HIV infections. While the HIV Surveillance Program has traditionally compiled, analyzed, and distributed information about persons who test positive for HIV, there are many people thought to be infected with HIV who have never been tested. Incidence Surveillance collects information about persons who test positive and are found likely to have been infected with HIV in the last year and uses this information to calculate the number of all persons, diagnosed and non-diagnosed, with HIV. By identifying and characterizing persons most recently infected with HIV, Incidence Surveillance enables the public health community to focus on the leading edge of the HIV epidemic, helping to improve targeted prevention efforts.

For more information about the Incidence Surveillance Program, please contact:

Lauren Ostrenga, MPH
STD/HIV Surveillance Program
1450 Poydras St, Suite 2136
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 568-7474

Enhanced Gonorrhea Surveillance Program

Louisiana’s STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program (SHHP) with the Office of Public Health is pleased to announce our Enhanced Gonorrhea Surveillance Program. This survey-based surveillance project aims to shed light on the nature of gonorrhea cases in Louisiana. Our trained staff will conduct surveys via phone call for convenience and to protect private information.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can infect both men and women. It most commonly causes infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. Infections can cause symptoms such as painful urination, discharge, and sore throat; however, many people with gonorrhea do not have any signs or symptoms. In the United States, gonorrhea is a very common STI, especially among young people ages 15–24 years.

Gonorrhea is a reportable condition under Louisiana’s State Sanitary Code LAC 51:II.105. This means that testing laboratories and providers must report new cases of gonorrhea to the state. Our aim is to reach out to a small group of these cases to receive additional information about the nature of their case, risk factors, testing/treatment, and experience with their provider. Through this program, we hope to provide better information to the public and our stakeholders, as well as help inform future policy around addressing rising case counts in Louisiana. In 2019, the Sanitary Code was appended to mandate the reporting of all test results, positive or negative, for hepatitis C virus, HIV, and syphilis. This reporting requirement is for laboratories only, and only for laboratories that report via electronic reporting mechanisms. Laboratory Surveillance Program, contact should be updated to ELR@la.gov or for more infromation please visit https://ldh.la.gov/page/electronic-laboratory-reporting-elr-in-louisiana

For more information about the Enhanced Gonorrhea Surveillance Program, please contact:

Jacob Chavez, MSAS
Surveillance Supervisor - Data Analyst
STD/HIV Surveillance Program
1450 Poydras St, Suite 2136 A
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 568-8377