Establishment, Definitions and Purposes


Section 1.01.  Establishment. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mandated the establishment of an HIV community planning group to work collectively with local, territorial, and state departments of health to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic by developing scientifically sound and locally relevant HIV prevention initiatives. 


Section 1.02.  Purposes. 

The principal purpose of  the HHPCPG is to create a comprehensive plan to address the HIV Prevention needs of the City of Houston. The process shall include, but is not limited to:


1. Develop an Epidemiologic Profile


Assess and describe the extent, distribution, and impact of HIV/AIDS in defined populations in the community, as well as relevant risk behaviors. This is the starting point for defining future HIV prevention needs in defined, targeted populations within the health department’s jurisdiction.


2.  Conduct a Needs Assessment


Conduct an assessment of the HIV prevention needs of the populations identified by the epidemiological profile as being at high risk for HIV infection.


3.  Assemble a Resource Inventory


Assess existing community resources for HIV prevention to determine the community’s capability to respond to the epidemic. These resources may or may not be directly HIV related, but may include the existence of social networks, educational institutions, businesses, or other community-building activities that may favor HIV risk reduction.


4.  Conduct a Gap Analysis


            Using the needs assessment and resource inventory, identify met and unmet HIV prevention needs within the high-risk populations defined in the epidemiological profile. Findings from the needs assessment about high-risk populations (eg., size of population, impact of HIV/AIDS, risk behaviors) should be compared to findings from the resource inventory about existing services. An analysis of the gaps between the needs of at-risk populations and the existing se4rvices should be helpful in the prioritization process.


5.  Identify Potential Strategies and Interventions


Identify potential strategies and interventions that can be used to prevent new HIV infections within the high-risk populations defined in the epidemiologic profile, needs assessment, an resource inventory.


6.  Prioritize Populations and Interventions


Prioritize HIV prevention needs in terms of (1) high-risk populations and (2) interventions and strategies for each high-risk population identified.


7.  Develop a Plan


Develop a comprehensive HIV Prevention Plan consistent with the high priority needs identified through the community planning process.


8.  Evaluate the Planning Process


Health department and HHPCPG will track and keep records on an ongoing basis to evaluate the effectiveness of community planning process and the development and implementation of the comprehensive HIV prevention plan.


9.  Update the Plan


Once a comprehensive plan has been developed, the community-planning group should periodically review it to determine whether or not it is necessary to make revisions.


Section 1.03.  Definitions. 

The following definitions shall have the ascribed meaning when used within this document, except where otherwise specified:


“AIDS” is defined as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.


“Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” is defined by the current criteria established by Centers for Disease Control (CDC).


“Bureau of HIV/STD Prevention” is defined as the section of the Houston Department of Health and Human Services that administers grant funds allocated to the “Metropolitan Statistical Area.”


“CDC” is defined as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the Public Health Services of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.


“Community Co-Chair” is defined as the HHPCPG co-chair elected by HHPCPG community members.


“Community Co-Chair Elect” s defined as the HHPCPG co-chair elected by HHPCPG community members to serve in the case of a vacancy by the Community Co-Chair.


“Community member ” is defined as not being employed (as a full-time, part-time consultant, or temporary  worker) by the City of Houston, or any department thereof.


“External member” is defined as members of standing committees with full voting rights of that committee.


“HDHHS” is defined as the Houston Department of Health and Human Services of the City of Houston.


“HIV” is defined as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.


“HIV Infection” is defined as the presence of HIV anti-bodies in the bloodstream as confirmed by the diagnostic tests prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control.


“HHPCPG” is defined as the acronym for the Houston HIV Prevention Community Planning Group.


“HRSA” is defined as the Health Resources Services Administration of the Public Health Service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.


“Institutional Co-Chair” is defined as the HHPCPG co-chair who is appointed by HDHHS.


“Metropolitan Statistical Area” is defined as the Houston/Harris County Area which area has been determined by the Centers for Disease Control for HIV prevention planning purposes.


“PIR” is defined as the community planning principles of parity, inclusion and representation.






Appointment, Composition, and Term


Section 2.01.  Appointment of HHPCPG. 

All members of the HHPCPG shall be appointed by HDHHS after recommendation in accordance with HHPCPG member selection process established in the Policy and Procedural Manual. 


Section 2.02.  Composition.

The HHPCPG will be composed of no more than 35 members. 


Section 2.03.  Term. 

HHPCPG membership is for a term of three (3) years.  The terms shall be staggered into three groups to prevent turnover in membership.  A term shall begin on January 1 and shall terminate on December 31 of the third year following.  HHPCPG members appointed to vacancies shall complete the unexpired term of office. HDHHS shall appoint HHPCPG members to no more than two consecutive three-year terms. A period of one year (12 months) shall have passed prior to a person reapplying for membership once they have served two three year terms.


Section 2.04. Parity, Inclusion and Representation.

Members are selected to ensure that populations at highest risk for HIV transmission or acquisition are included, and represented by persons with personal or professional expertise.  These individuals must be able to represent the needs, concerns and issues of a specific population and community, including but not limited to:


1.      Faith Communities

2.      Minority Board CBO

3.      Non-Minority CBO

4.      Other Non-Profit

5.      State or Local Health Department

6.      Other Governmental Agencies

7.      Academic Institutions

8.      Research Centers

9.      Individuals to include

a.      Communities of color

b.      Gay/lesbian/bisexual

c.      Transgender

d.      HIV prevention workers

e.      HIV primary care

f.        Homelessness

g.      Incarcerated and/or recently released persons

h.      Juvenile justice system

i.        Mental health

j.         People with physical disabilities

k.      Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH)

l.         Sexually transmitted infection prevention and/or treatment

m.    Sex workers

n.      Social services

o.      Substance abuse prevention and/or treatment

p.      Tuberculosis prevention and/or treatment

q.      Youth

10.  Epidemiologists

11.  Behavioral or Social Science

12.  Evaluation Researcher

13.  Intervention Specialist

14.  Health Planner

15.  Community Representative


Section 2.05.  Term Limits.  HDHHS shall appoint HHPCPG members to no more than two consecutive three-year terms. 


Section 2.06.  Membership Limits. 

No organization with the exception of HDHHS, shall have more than two employees (as a full-time, part-time, consultant, or temporary worker) serving as HHPCPG members. HDHHS shall have no more than three employees (as a full-time, part-time, consultant, or temporary worker) who are voting members on the HHPCPG. Should a HHPCPG member become employed by an organization, which already has two employees serving on the HHPCPG, that organization shall determine which two employees will remain as the voting members. All members, regardless of affiliation shall be required to be interviewed prior to recommendation for appointment, the exception being the HDHHS appointed Institutional Co-Chair.



Duties and powers of the HHPCPG


Section 3.01.  Duties. 

The duties of the HHPCPG are to see to the establishment and implementation of the purposes set out in Section 1.02 of these Bylaws and those duties that are prescribed by the CDC, HDHHS or purview of the HHPCPG.






Section 4.01.  Executive Committee. 

The Executive Committee, which provides overall leadership of the HHPCPG, shall be composed of Community Co-Chair, Community Co-Chair Elect, Institutional Co-Chair and the Co-Chairs of each Standing Committee.  The Executive Committee shall review reports from each standing committee and make recommendations for placement on the HHPCPG agenda.  Actions of the Executive Committee are subject to ratification by the HHPCPG. The Executive Committee is responsible for:


·        Setting the agenda of the HHPCPG;

·        Making recommendations to the HHPCPG;

·        Previewing reports from the Standing Committees;

·        Functioning in “emergency” situations as they arise.


Section 4.02. Standing Committees. 

There shall be four (4) Standing Committees. Each HHPCPG member is required to serve on at least one standing committee. Two Co-Chairs, who shall facilitate the  meeting and make reports at Executive Committee and HHPCPG meetings, will manage each committee. The HHPCPG Co-Chairs and Co-Chair Elect cannot be Chairs of any Standing Committee.  The standing committees are:


1)     Community and Member Relations

2)     Prioritization

3)     Quality Assurance

4)     Resources and Needs


Section 4.03 Other Committees. 

The Community and Institutional Co-Chairs or the HHPCPG may, from time to time, establish other ad-hoc committees as may be expedient or necessary to carry out specific duties and responsibilities.  The scope and responsibilities of such committees shall be delineated at the time such committees are established.




Officers, Members, Election of Officers, Appointments and Duties of Officers


Section 5.01.  Officers. 

The officers of the HHPCPG shall be the Community Co-Chair, Community Co-Chair Elect and Institutional Co-Chair. 


Section 5.02.   Members.  

Members of the HHPCPG are those persons who are appointed by HDHHS after recommendation from the member selection process.  All members are required to attend a mandatory orientation.


Section 5.03.   External Members.  

External members of the HHPCPG are those persons who were appointed by Community and Institutional Co-Chairs to serve on a Standing Committee.  All External Members serving on standing committees shave have voting privileges on the committee they serve on but shall have no voting privileges at the general HHPCPG meetings. All External Members are required to complete a mandatory orientation.


Section 5.04.  Election of Officers. 

The Community Co-Chair and Community Co-Chair Elect shall be elected by the majority vote of the HHPCPG members at the first meeting of planning year each January.  The Community Co-Chair and Community Co-Chair Elect may not be employed (as full-time, part-time or consultant staff) of the City of Houston and/or any of it’s departments.


Section 5.05.  Appointment of the Institutional Co-Chair. 

HDHHS will appoint the Institutional Co-Chair.  Prior to the beginning of the planning year, or as needed to fill a vacancy, HDHHS will inform the Community and Member Relations Committee of its appointment.


Section 5.06.  Appointment of Committee Chairs. 

Committee Chairs will be appointed by the Community and Institutional Co-Chairs.  Committee Chairs must be members of the HHPCPG for at least one year.  If committee leadership is not available from among HHPCPG members with at least one year’s service, the Co-Chairs may seek leadership among all HHPCPG members.

The Standing Committee Chairs shall preside at all meetings of their respective committees, and are responsible for ensuring that minutes and attendance are recorded.  A copy of all approved minutes so taken shall be distributed to the entire HHPCPG.


Section 5.07.  Duties of Officers. 

The duties of HHPCPG officers are as follows:


Community and Institutional Co-Chairs:  The Community and Institutional Co-Chairs shall preside at all meetings of the HHPCPG.  The Co-Chairs shall jointly perform such other duties as are normally performed by a chair of an organization or such other duties as the HHPCPG may prescribe from time to time.


Community Co-Chair Elect:  The Community Co-Chair Elect shall preside at meetings of the HHPCPG in the absence of the Community Co-Chair, or should the Community Co-Chair have a conflict with debated legislation.  The Community Co-Chair Elect shall perform such other duties as the Chair may designate or the HHPCPG shall prescribe from time to time.




Quorum, Voting, Proxies and Attendance


Section 6.01.  Quorum. 

A simple majority of the members of the HHPCPG or Standing Committee is required to constitute a quorum.  In computing a quorum, vacant seats are not considered. 



Section 6.02.  Voting. 

Voting shall be by consensus. However, each member shall cast one vote on regular business maters coming before the HHPCPG, if a consensus is not present. A simple majority vote is required to pass any matter coming before the HHPCPG or any standing committee.


Section 6.03.  Proxy Voting.       

Any member may assign a proxy to another member or committee member to cast votes on his/her behalf in a general or committee meeting. The proxy should be delivered to and signed by the co-chair(s) prior to the start of the meeting at which the vote is to be taken or immediately before an early departure from the meeting. While a proxy vote is counted as valid in voting situations, proxies may not be counted as the issuer having attended a meeting for attendance purposes.


Section 6.04.  Attendance. 

HHPCPG members are required to attend regular and committee meetings at its scheduled times.  HDHHS shall cause attendance records to be maintained for regular and committee meetings, and shall regularly provide such records to the Community and Member Relations Committee (CMRC). Any member who is unable to attend a meeting must notify the Co-Chairs, Standing Committee Chair or HDHHS prior to the meeting.   (See Policies and Procedures Manual).


Any member with eight (8) unexcused absences from regular and committee meetings accrued in one planning year is subject to removal according to the HHPCPG Policy and Procedures Manual.


External members are required to attend regularly scheduled committee meetings.  Any External member with a total of four (4) unexcused absences is subject to removal from the committee. 




Conflicts of Interest


Section 7.01  Definition of Conflict of Interest.  

A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when external or voting member has a direct or indirect fiduciary, personal or professional interest in an HHPCPG decision or the outcome of a vote.  A conflict also exists when a member uses his/her positions for purposes that are motivated by pursuit of private gain for themselves or their families, friends, or business associates. 


Section 7.02  Disclosure of Conflicts of Interests.  

Members who have COI must declare that conflict before the discussion of a motion.  This will be recorded in the official minutes.  All members must submit signed statements disclosing any COI when joining the HHPCPG, and at least annually, and/or more often as needed, thereafter. 


Regular Meetings, Special Meetings, Notice and Business to be Considered


Section 8.01.  Regular Meetings. 

The HHPCPG will have regular meetings at designated times and places.  Written Notice of Regular Meetings shall be given no less than five (5) days prior, and will include an agenda and documents for review.


Section 8.02.  Special Meetings. 

Special Meetings shall be held at such times and places as designated by the Co-Chairs or Standing Committee Chairs.  Notice of Special Meetings shall be given no less than five (5) working days prior to special called meeting.


Section 8.03.  Notice. 

It shall be the responsibility of HDHHS, the Co-Chairs and Standing Committee Chairs to notify to each member of meetings.  Notice of Regular Meetings shall be given in writing, facsimile and/or electronically.  Additionally, notice of Special Meetings may be given by telephone or electronically.  All HHPCPG meetings shall be listed as Open Meetings.



Section 8.04.  Business to be Considered. 

Any business coming before the HHPCPG shall be considered at a duly constituted and noticed Regular Meeting or Special Meeting.  At each Regular Meeting, only items approved by the Executive Committee for presentation to the HHPCPG and posted on the agenda may be voted on.


Section 8.05.  Public Comment.

There is an opportunity for public comment at all meetings.  Persons wishing to speak must follow the established policies and procedures.






Section 9.01  Grievance. 

Any member expressing a grievance shall follow the process outlined in the Policies & Procedures Manual.




Amendments and Governing Procedure


Section 10.01.  Amendments. 

These Bylaws may be amended from time to time by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire membership. Proposed amendments shall be submitted (in written form) for review to the full HHPCPG at least fifteen (15) days prior to voting.


Section 10.02.  Governing Procedure. 

The HHPCPG will be lead primarily by consensus vote.  Robert’s Rules of Order, last revised shall govern conduct of operations where applicable or if consensus vote is not applicable or possible


Signed this 22nd day of July 2004,



_______________________________              ________________________________________

Barbara Joseph – Community Co-Chair                  Marlene McNeese-Ward – Institutional Co-Chair