The sexually transmitted diseases (STD) epidemic in Connecticut reflects STD epidemiology nationally. In 2017, Connecticut experienced increases in all three major STDs with 17,750 cases of chlamydia, 3,913 cases of gonorrhea and 110 cases of primary and secondary syphilis reported. This cooperative agreement will support the Connecticut STD Program in prevention and control efforts for syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. These efforts include: improving surveillance activities, maintaining and strengthening field investigations by Disease Intervention Specialist staff, strengthening education efforts, expanding the current group of stakeholders related to the STD epidemic in the state and implementing more routine data analysis for action.
By the end of this cooperative agreement, the Connecticut STD Program aims to decrease the incidence of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in the state. There are several short and intermediate term outcomes the STD Program will be working toward with the final outcome of the cooperative agreement in mind.
1. Improve completion and timeliness of data. The transition to a modernized database with the capacity to accept electronic laboratory reporting that will be instrumental in helping the STD Program achieve this outcome.
2. Increased treatment of cases and their partners. The STD Program is successful in ensuring appropriate treatment of syphilis patients and will work to maintain this. The STD Program continues working on strategies for improving identification and engagement of partners. The STD Program will also maintain efforts to ensure that providers are aware of the recommended treatment for gonorrhea.
3. Increased identification of persons living with HIV. The STD Program works closely with the three HIV Programs at DPH and Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) staff play an important role in ensuring STD patients have an HIV test and connecting newly diagnosed HIV patients to care.
4. Increased screening of STDs. The STD Program works with a variety of stakeholders to ensure screening of high risk populations, e.g. adolescents and MSM.
5. Increased use of recommended, timely treatment. The STD Program will continue to routinely review gonorrhea treatment information and follows up with providers when inappropriate treatment is reported and will work to increase the receipt of treatment information for both gonorrhea and chlamydia patients.
6. Improved health department policies for STD prevention. The STD Program will work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure regular review and updates to statutes, regulations and internal policies as needed.
7. More efficient targeting of STD prevention and care resources and services by STD programs- The STD Program will be working to capitalize on the use of a new modernized database to increase the ability of staff members to analyze data through training and will be identifying new reports and other methods of both reviewing data and translating data to action.