Maine CDC, in conjunction with the National Coalition of Sexually Transmitted Disease Directors (NCSD), will be participating in the first National Disease Intervention Specialists Recognition Day on Friday. Intended to be an annual event celebrated the first Friday of October, the day has been set aside to honor the Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) workforce, which is the underpinning of all STD and HIV programs.
DIS personnel provide confidential interviews to people diagnosed with an STD to address concerns about their diagnosis, treatment, counseling, and referral needs. In addition, they work to obtain the names and contact information of sexual and needle-sharing partner(s) in order to confidentially notify them of their possible exposure and offer counseling, testing, and treatment. This service effectively breaks the chain of disease transmission and protects public health.
In 2011, DIS in Maine worked 1,768 cases of individuals diagnosed with an STD or HIV. All of those diagnosed with HIV and 85% of those with an STD were successfully linked to treatment and services.
For additional materials and information on HIV and STDs in Maine, visit: www.mainepublichealth.gov/std