Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Program administers the Comprehensive STD Prevention Systems and Infertility Prevention Projects. The Program supports and maintains successful working relationships with local, state and federal agencies, primary health care providers, public health organizations and Native American healthcare units to prevent and control the spread of STDs.
The STD Program collaborates with the (HIV) Prevention and Treatment Programs, Immunization and Hepatitis Sections, Epidemiology Section, the Women’s and Men’s Health Section, the State Epidemiologist, and the Montana Public Health Laboratory.
The STD Program assists in revising the Administrative Rules governing control of HIV and STDs. Those rules, which have the effect of law, are renewed and revised when treatment guidelines are modified or legislative changes require revision.
The STD Program provides funding to 19 STD clinics throughout the state to conduct testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea for clients unable to pay for testing. During the first six months of 2006, 55% of the clients diagnosed with an STD were counseled and educated regarding the risk of acquiring HIV infection. See Montana STD Clinic Definition of Services.
Clinic staff must provide all STD clients with risk reduction education on STDs and must interview, within DPHHS time requirements, those diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, to elicit the names and locations of sex partners to prevent the spread of the STD.
Partner services, including notification to sexual partners of exposure, medical evaluation, risk reduction counseling, and appropriate referrals are provided by local health departments. Identified partners of STD cases who cannot afford treatment qualify for the DPHHS-sponsored indigent drug fund which provides medication at no cost to the patient.
The STD/HIV Section uses the services of community and statewide media representatives, and local public health department, STD, and HIV clinic liaisons, to access and provide information to community and tribal leaders.