The County of Santa Clara
California

Board Referral
71022

Refer to Administration a request to report to the Board of Supervisors through the Health and Hospital Committee on the prevalence of HIV within homeless encampments throughout Santa Clara County, including possible interventions to prevent transmission of HIV and other associated communicable diseases within the homeless population, as well as cost estimates and resource needs for such interventions. (Yeager)

Information

Department:Supervisor Ken Yeager (Supervisorial District Four)Sponsors:
Category:Board Referral

Body

REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

 

At the March 12th Health and Hospital Committee meeting, Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody reported that she was concerned about the public health consequences of HIV within homeless encampments throughout Santa Clara County.

 

In order to more fully understand the issue of homelessness from a public health perspective, Dr. Cody recently visited the so-called “jungle” homeless encampment, located near San Jose’s Happy Hollow Zoo.  During this visit, Dr. Cody was provided information on myriad health challenges facing homeless individuals, one of which is HIV.  The full scope of HIV prevalence within homeless encampments, the “jungle” specifically, is not well understood.  What is known is that those limited cases that are documented are not being treated in the comprehensive manner that is normally applied to this serious health condition.  While this is problematic because untreated individuals who are HIV positive are likely to suffer serious health effects, and are at risk of transmitting the disease to others through unprotected sex and intravenous drug use, there is also the potential for other communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis, to quickly become widespread in this community. 

 

Due to these uncertainties and the potential for serious negative public health consequences, Supervisor Yeager is requesting a report-back to the Board of Supervisors through the Health and Hospital Committee on the prevalence of HIV within homeless encampments throughout Santa Clara County, including possible interventions to prevent transmission of HIV and other associated communicable diseases within the homeless population, as well as cost estimates and resource needs for such interventions.

 

Meeting History

Mar 25, 2014 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting
RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Ken Yeager, Supervisor
SECONDER:S. Joseph Simitian, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian

Transcript

Mar 25, 2014 9:00 AMBoard of SupervisorsRegular Meeting

 

9:35 AMWe've got item 8. All right, madam clerk, and I believe that brings us to item 8. Which is refer to administration a request to report to the board of supervisors through the health and hospital committee on the prevalence of hiv within homeless encampments throughout santa clara county, including possible interventions to prevent transmission of hiv and other associated communicable diseases for such interventions. Encampments. And supervisor yeager?
Yes, thank you, president wasserman. And I know that Dr. Sarah cody is here to answer any questions that board members might have. But this was an item that came up at our last health and hospital committee on which supervisor simitian and I serve. And in the public health officer's report, she had mentioned a concern of a growing number of people who are testing positive for hiv at the homeless encampment, sometimes known as the jungle. And this raised many concerns. We don't know a great deal about the problem that seems to be arising in terms of how many people are infected and how it was transmitted. And as important, what kind of treatment we can be able to establish for people who do test positive to certainly reduce the risk of them transmitting the virus. And it was felt that because of the issue and how many people are going to be involved in this investigation and then coming up with solutions that it was best to put it as a referral, so, the health department would know that the board is behind this. And if anybody sort of inquires whether this is something that has the support of the board, Dr. Cody and others can say that it does. So, I will go ahead and make the motion that we approve this referral and then see if there's any questions.
9:37 AMThanks. you should be able to vote now. All right. Let the record shows it's moved by supervisor yeager, seconded by supervisor simitian. Go ahead and do one way or the other, [speaker not understood].
You still want us to vote on this here?
Yes, go ahead and use this. you'll be shown as the motion maker. Supervisor simitian will be the second r. And everyone has voted and that is passed unanimously 5 nothing. Thanks, supervisor yeager.