For Immediate Release: January 27, 2022 Contact: Iman Karnabi, email@example.com, 336-830-2493
Washington, DC – The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) calls upon Congress to adopt model STD legislation recently enacted in California. Through expansion of health insurance coverage, the groundbreaking law expands access to non-clinic-based self-collected STD testing, congenital syphilis screening, sexual health counseling, and Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT).
“In passing this bill, California has become a national model for comprehensive, equitable STD policy that addresses the nation’s out of control STD epidemic,” says David C. Harvey, NCSD executive director. “We call upon other states and Congress to adopt similar legislation,” he adds.
The COVID-19 pandemic massively disrupted STD testing and clinical care and continues to affect access to these essential services. Many STD clinics were forced to close their doors or significantly reduce their hours. Sixty-six percent of clinics reported decreased sexual health screening and testing, and 22 percent reported their capacity to provide STI treatment was reduced by half.
Long before the pandemic, however, STD rates were a public health crisis. Reported cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis hit record levels for the sixth consecutive year. The exigencies of the pandemic accelerated innovation in the STD field, including creative approaches for reaching people with sexual health services, such as at-home STD testing, which the new California law supports.
About the National Coalition of STD Directors
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.