Access the new curated space just for DIS
Are you currently a DIS? Explore our new space dedicated just to you and your work.
Who are DIS?
Disease Intervention Specialists are the heart and soul of field STI prevention.
We work in local health departments, community based organizations, and neighborhood clinics with the goal of improving sexual health outcomes (and sometimes other emerging infectious diseases!) and increasing sexual health education in our communities.
DIS are remarkable public health professionals who come from a wide variety of background skill-sets and professions. We’re a group of field epidemiologists who identify, track, and prevent the transmission of infections with rich experiences including:
- highly trained public health professionals
- licensed clinicians and medical providers including nurses and physicians
- community health workers and social workers
- lived experiences
- health educators
What do DIS do?
DIS provide critical services in our communities to improve sexual health education and sexual health outcomes (and sometimes new and reemerging infections also!). Here are some ways DIS work hard every day to help make sex safer:
- provide non-judgmental and inclusive sexual health education
- swiftly connect individuals to screening and treatment services
- confidentially support partner notification (also known as partner services) of individuals potentially exposed
- make referrals to wrap-around services including housing support or syringe exchange
- lead frontline contact tracing efforts for emerging and reemerging infections including tuberculosis, COVID-19, and MPOX
- jurisdiction unique services that vary based on the needs of their local communities!
What sort of training do DIS receive?
DIS are highly trained to offer wrap-around sexual health services including partner notification of exposures and infection education. While DIS may provide different services based on the needs of their jurisdiction, at the core, here are some of the areas DIS receive ongoing training in to provide the best quality public health care.
- cultural competency, gender diversity, harm reduction, trauma-informed care, health equity
- interpersonal communication with clients, community members, private healthcare providers, school-based providers, and more around sensitive conversations
- extensive understanding of sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV
- confidentiality, privacy practices, and HIPAA regulation
- safer sex practices and educating clients and community on safer sex practices
- navigating and leading client care plans, referrals, and recommending suggested treatment based on CDC STI Treatment Guidelines to clients and care providers
- phlebotomy and field outreach services including field STI testing and testing events, and treatment
What’s New and Poppin’ with DIS?
Are you currently a DIS? We’re busy curating a space just for us DIS! You can find it here. You’ll be able to find announcements, updates, new DIS-specific resources, trainings, and tools to help us better care for our clients as DIS.
DIS Certification development is well underway in partnership with the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE), the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and is supported through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a Cooperative Agreement
Sign Up Here to receive email notifications regarding the DIS Certification Program to include volunteer opportunities, program updates, educational materials, prep resources, and much more!
To learn more about the foundational phase of certification development that took place in 2016, explore here.
Questions about DIS work?
Connect with Sonya, Senior Manager of Disease Intervention and DIS via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIS Mini Conference
The 2023 DIS Mini Conference held by the National Coalition of STD Directors earlier this January was the first and only DIS-focused event highlighting the crucial work we do as DIS across the nation in STI prevention and a closer look at how we care for ourselves as disease intervention professionals.
Missed the conference? Check out the event recording, materials, and resources below!
PrEParing DIS to Connect MSM Clients to PrEP
NCSD hosted a webinar on how several jurisdictions are using DIS to do PrEP referrals for MSM. To date, this was our most successful webinar with over 300 participants!