By National Coalition of STD Directors, Special for USDR
New data released today show the highest combined rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis (STDs) in the U.S. in 20 years, reports the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The surge in STDs is occurring at a time of budget cuts to State and local STD programs, including a possible $5 million cut in 2017 by a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
“Given the surge in STDs, now is not the time to reduce funding to combat these diseases,” says David C. Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. “We call upon Congress to reverse the 2017 Senate funding cut and provide an increase of at least $8.1 million for STD programs. We also call upon the new administration to request additional funding for STD programs in their 2018 budget request to Congress,” Harvey adds.
Annually, there are 20 million new STD cases, costing the U.S. health care system $16 billion. Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis increased significantly for the third year in a row, reaching a 20-year high. The long-term health consequences posed by STDs are serious and often irreversible, especially if not diagnosed and treated early. Young people ages 15-24 and gay and bisexual men are at highest risk for STDs. Young people face unique barriers to services, including stigma, confidentiality concerns, and limited access to expert STD providers.
STDs can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. A pregnant woman can pass STDs on to her baby, leading to serious disabilities or death in the infant. STDs increase the risk for acquiring HIV, especially men who have sex with men, undoing the gains that have been made in HIV prevention and care.
The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) is a partnership of public health professionals dedicated to promoting sexual health through the prevention of STDs.
SOURCE National Coalition of STD Directors