NCSD Statement - Biden Budget Fails to Address STD Crisis
March 29, 2022
Biden Budget Fails to Address STD Crisis
Budget Proposal Fails to Request Increased Resources to Fight Record High STD Rates
For Immediate Release: March 28, 2022 Contact: Kathleen Jeanty, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-610-5424
Washington, D.C. — The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) is deeply concerned with the failure of President Biden’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget proposal to address record-high STD levels. While we applaud new groundbreaking investments in HIV prevention, flat funding for STDs leaves out a critical element in the nation’s ability to respond to infectious diseases.
“It’s deeply frustrating to see the CDC fail to use their full weight to prioritize the growing epidemic of STDs in the budgeting process when their own data paint a dismal picture,” said David C. Harvey, executive director of NCSD. “For too long we have allowed a growing and out-of-control STD epidemic to harm vulnerable people, including newborn babies. Now is the time to step-up and do something about this.”
According to the CDC’s most recent surveillance data, STDs continue to reach record highs. For example, between 2015 and 2019, the nation saw gonorrhea cases increase by more than 50% and cases of congenital syphilis increase by 279%.
“It’s infuriating that this budget misses the mark at this particular juncture, when we see our rates exploding and so much of our workforce redeployed to manage Covid-19,” Harvey adds. “It also misses a big opportunity to build on investments in HIV and instead leaves people vulnerable to the very infections that increase the risk of HIV infection.”
NCSD calls upon Congress to increase funding for STD prevention and to support the first-ever STD clinical funding demonstration program at HRSA. With new HIV investments, we expect CDC to expand funding for STD Clinics to bolster their efforts at treating STDs, providing HIV testing and PrEP, knowing these key safety net services are often a last resort for Americans in need.
“We will work with Congress to ensure that policy-makers understand the ramifications of ignoring STDs and point out the costs to the nation,” said Stephanie Arnold Pang, senior director of policy and government relations at NCSD. “We call upon Congress to do everything in their power to increase STD prevention and care funding.”
The president’s budget is the first step in the FY 23 Congressional appropriations cycle. Finalizing a budget before the midterm elections will be an urgent priority. NCSD will closely monitor developments in Congress and do everything in our power to call attention to the need for greater STD funding.
About The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD)
NCSD is a national public health membership organization representing health department STD directors, their support staff, and their community-based partners across 50 states, seven large cities, and eight U.S. territories. We provide leadership, build capacity, convene partners, and advocate. For more information, visit www.ncsddc.org.