Congress increased federal funding for STD prevention for the first time in almost 2 decades, according to the National Coalition of STD Directors, adding $3.51 million in base funding to the CDC’s STD prevention programs for fiscal year 2020.
Healio spoke with Matthew Prior, MPH, director of communications for the National Coalition of STD Directors, about the added funding, which comes amid a rise in STDs over the past 5 years. – by Caitlyn Stulpin
A: This is yet to be determined. But if we want it to make an impact, this money should be sent to the frontlines of the STD epidemics — the state and local public health STD programs.
A: This will be determined by the CDC working with local jurisdictions, but this increase in funding will likely go to bolster the public health workforce and to enhance existing programs and prevention and care initiatives.
A: Any increase in funding will have a positive impact. But is it enough? The direct answer is no — not even close. This is a down payment and a step in the right direction. The federal STD prevention program is still $5 million short of where it was in 2003, and the spending power for STD programs has decreased by over 40% because of inflation and rising operational costs. To begin to bend the recent STD trends, we need Congress to support an increase of $82 million — $62 million to fill the gap left due to the loss of spending power and $20 million for direct service funding, otherwise we are short-changing the health of American citizens and trends will continue.
A: The STD epidemics are spreading too quickly and the causes of these increases are too varied for a simple solution. Here’s where the National Coalition of STD Directors would start: