An organizational statement decrying the reported banning of words at CDC
We were disturbed to read the Washington Post article, “CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity” which reports a number of words reportedly prohibited by the Trump administration for use in 2018 budget documents by Health and Human Services (HHS) and divisions, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those words are “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based,” and “evidence-based.” As of yet, it is unclear how and if this reported ban will affect STD programs.
We cannot allow for this disguised discrimination to hinder our efforts.
Evidence-based programs and interventions are the foundation of public health and the STD field. Using data to guide STD programs allows not only for responsible stewardship of funding, but for strategically reaching populations who need STD services most. In a field that is historically underfunded and under-resourced, using science and evidence allows for STD programs to be most effective.
NCSD will continue to advocate for the needs of STD programs, the people they serve, and for sound science to address the STD epidemics.
The reality is that STDs disproportionately affect vulnerable people, the same populations we in the STD field are called on to reach. LGBTQ populations carry unique needs. The ability to name those needs explicitly, not in veiled terms to appease bureaucrats, is essential for design and implementation of effective intervention. We cannot allow for this disguised discrimination to hinder our efforts.
At NCSD, we recognize that words matter. Stigma is a key driver of many of the inequities we see in health outcomes when it comes to STDs and sexual health. Censorship will fuel the fires of stigma and continue to disadvantage those people who we, as a field, are called on to protect. NCSD will be joining with our colleagues to amplify our opposition to these threats which we will deliver to the administration and host on our website and in the STD Weekly. NCSD will continue to advocate for the needs of STD programs, the people they serve, and for sound science to address the STD epidemics.