HHSA Newsroom

Getting the monkey off your back: Disease Investigation Specialists aim to stop the spread of STDs

Published October 21, 2019

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Disease Investigation Specialists (DIS) are making their way through Shasta County, donned in red T-shirts. Their goal is to reduce the number of cases of syphilis and other STDs in our area.

Once medical providers report an STD to the Shasta County HHSA Public Health Branch, the DIS start their work with phone calls. But that’s not enough. The DIS team takes the office out into the field, meeting people where they’re located in the community. On any one day, the DIS team may visit homeless camps, jails, residential homes and more.

The T-shirts are a part of the team’s mission. With four monkeys and a message of “ … spread no evil” on the back, these disease hunters are hoping to brand themselves, so clients understand they are there to help.
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Though this work has been done by lone individuals at the Shasta County HHSA Public Health Branch for quite some time, this newly-formed team is doubly devoted to the cause. Activities are limited to STD services such as HIV and Hepatitis C testing, but the team is pounding the pavement regularly and hoping to grow, all while lowering the stigma surrounding STDs.

“We all have a monkey on our back one way or another,” said Carmel Calway, a Disease Investigation Specialist. “We’re a part of this community, and we just want to meet people where they’re at, physically and emotionally, while lowering the risk of STDs in Shasta County.”

To reach the DIS team with questions, call Shellisa Moore at 225-5621 or email sdmoore@co.shasta.ca.us.
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