For Immediate Release: March 13, 2023
Contact: Elizabeth Finley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-749-7309
The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) expressed dismay at the Biden administration’s failure to propose adequate funding to combat the nation’s record-high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in its FY’24 budget. STI rates have continued to climb over the past decade and public health agencies lack funding to meet the rising demand.
“The Biden administration’s proposed FY 24 budget presents an unserious attempt to lead on protecting the nation’s health,” said NCSD Executive Director David C. Harvey. “The administration has missed a key moment to take control of the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections and stop the devastating consequences of these diseases.”
To combat rising STI rates, public health leaders have recommended increased funds for prevention programs, school health promotion initiatives, and clinical services, specifically:
Over the past two decades, funding for STI prevention programs has declined by roughly 40%, when adjusted for inflation, and the federal government does not provide dedicated funding for clinical testing and treatment services. As funding has declined, rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis have increased dramatically. Most dire among the statistics, rates of congenital syphilis cases – syphilis infections in infants that could have been prevented in pregnancy – increased by more than 700% over a the past decade.
The Biden administration’s proposal leaves funding for DSTDP at last year’s level and makes no dedicated funding stream for STI clinical services.
The NCSD commends the Biden Administration’s plan to provide states with funds to implement the What Works In Schools initiative aimed at bolstering school-based health promotion and wellness efforts. More than half of new STIs occur in adolescents and young adults, ages 15-24.
“We urge Congress to provide major funding increases to take control of the nation’s growing STI epidemic,” Harvey continued. “Otherwise, we will miss the opportunity to stop the surge of STIs in the U.S.”