This publication is the result of a joint collaborative project between and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), Indian Health Service (IHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As you may know, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have disproportionately high rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Compared to whites, AI/ANs were almost six times as likely to have chlamydia, four times as likely to have gonorrhea, and twice as likely to have syphilis (rates are higher among certain tribes) (CDC Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2002). The responsibility to prevent and control STDs in AI/AN communities is shared among multiple agencies including state STD programs, tribes, the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 2005, in order to strengthen collaboration and coordination of STD prevention and control efforts in AI/AN communities, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) formed a workgroup of state STD Directors from states with large AI/AN populations. On a national scale NCSD strengthens state STD programs by advocating for effective policies, strategies, and sufficient resources and by increasing awareness of the medical and social impact of STDs. It was felt that NCSD could provide the necessary leadership and guidance that would work to unite state STD programs, tribes, IHS, and CDC to collaboratively confront the challenge of reducing STDs in AI/AN communities.
One of the overarching goals of this project was to increase awareness of the AI/AN population in each individual project area. In order to do that this initial project was undertaken to prepare a fact sheet for each project area that would be a summary breakdown of American Indian /Alaska Native statistics / information specific to that project area. These fact sheets will also be housed on the NCSD website and updated yearly.
Thank you to all the individuals who have worked to see this project through to fruition. It clearly represents an ongoing commitment to the American Indian/Alaska Native population.