To end this epidemic, NCSD calls on Congress for $20M in funding to support testing and prevention
Washington, DC – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report entitled Missed Opportunities for Prevention of Congenital Syphilis , analyzing the instances of congenital syphilis in the United States. The report reveals a 261% increase in congenital syphilis cases in the United States, and that a shocking 50% of newborns with syphilis contract the disease due to gaps in testing and treatment during prenatal care. The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) released the following statement calling for $1.6 billion in funding for the CDC‘s Division of STD Prevention. At least $20 million of these funds must be used to help address the congenital syphilis epidemic.
“The worrying trends in congenital syphilis are symptomatic of a raging epidemic in this country and a public health care system that is ill-equipped and under-resourced to deal with it,” said David C. Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. “Any case of congenital syphilis is a failure, and a canary in the coal mine for a much deeper-rooted issue. This report serves as a clear call to the public health field and clinical providers that we must create the necessary interventions to prevent the continued spread of this disease. With the appropriate funding, we can and must do better.”
The CDC’s STD Prevention Division has been funded at a 40% reduction since 2003. To address the rapidly rising rates of congenital syphilis in this country, congressional action must be taken.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for congenital syphilis – prevention must be tailored to the needs of affected communities and the mothers within them. To help put an end to this national epidemic, we must increase prevention efforts around the country and drive much needed funding to clinics that help test and treat these women,” added Harvey.
The National Coalition of STD Directors is a national public health membership organization representing health department STD directors, their support staff, and community-based partners across 50 states, seven large cities, and eight US territories. Our mission is to advance effective STD prevention programs and services across the country. NCSD does this as the voice of our membership. We provide leadership, build capacity, convene partners, and advocate. Go to ncsddc.org for more information.