Programs to prevent sexually transmitted infections are crucial to public health but they don’t always have the resources they need. Seventeen organizations have come together to make sure someone takes care of the people who take care of us all.
Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) continue to rise but funding for prevention and treatment program lags well behind. In response seventeen national public health and advocacy organizations have formed the National STI Coalition to push sound policy goals in support of STI prevention programs.
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that show cases of reportable STIs – chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis- are at record levels. Also we see a troubling trend where the most vulnerable populations – including newborns-continue to be hardest hit.
In a press release about this new initiative, Stephanie Arnold Pang, coalition co-chair and also director of policy and government relations at the National Coalition for STD Directors, said “As it stands, our public health STI programs are under-resourced and overwhelmed by the surge in STIs. To get seventeen organizations to focus on one issue is no small feat and an acknowledgement that without serious attention, this STI crisis isn’t going anywhere.”
When asked what’s driving the numbers, ASHA CEO Lynn Barclay said “Factors like incarceration, poverty, stigma, and homophobia all play a role. Add to that the fact that our STI control programs are constantly asked to do more with fewer resources. As a nation, we have to face the reality we are choosing to tolerate STI rates at epidemic levels.”
Information on the National STI Coalition, including a list of members, is available here.