Jueves 19 de Octubre 2017

AHF: CDC at Fault for Skyrocketing STD Rates; Shift from ‘Unprotected’ to ‘Condomless’ Sex to Blame

NPR reports, “The number of people infected with three major sexually
transmitted diseases is at an all-time high, according to a CDC report
released Wednesday.”

In April, AHF criticized the CDC for requesting far less prevention
funding for its 2017 budget and asked CDC to develop a new national STD
prevention campaign.

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In response to a new Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) report
released Wednesday (October 19, 2016), “Reported STDs at
Unprecedented High in the U.S.,”
AIDS
Healthcare Foundation
(AHF) today criticized the organization and
called out the CDC’s own policies—chief among them, the CDC’s
sanctioning of the widespread abandonment of the condom culture for STD
and HIV prevention—as a primary catalyst for skyrocketing STD rates,
particularly among young people.

According to an NPR
article
, “The number of people infected with three major sexually
transmitted diseases is at an all-time high, according to a CDC report
released Wednesday.”
NPR also noted, “… the increase in reported
cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis is hitting teenagers and
young adults hardest.”

New
York Magazine
also reported, “… The majority of cases of
gonorrhea and syphilis were among gay and bisexual men. The CDC noted
the increases could be due in part to the erosion of STD-prevention
systems: More than 
half of
state and local STD programs have experienced budget cuts. But it’s also
possible that improvements in the 
treatment
and prevention of HIV
 have led people to believe
they don’t need condoms
.”

“Given the CDC’s shift away from promoting condom usage and cuts in STD
prevention funding, it is no real surprise that STDs are skyrocketing
around the country, particularly among young people and men who have sex
with men,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Sadly, it also
appears that individual and organizational complacency has set in
regarding condoms, which remain the best way to prevent most STDs. We
call for additional urgently needed funding for STD prevention and for
the CDC to really step up and develop an innovative, aggressive national
STD prevention campaign.”

In April of this year (observed as STD
Awareness Month
) and following announcements from domestic and
international health agencies that revealed that rates of sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs) had continued to rise annually, particularly
among young people and gay men, AHF sharply criticized the CDC for
requesting far less prevention funding for its 2017 budget. AHF also
asked CDC to develop a new national STD prevention campaign. At the
time, AHF noted that syphilis was hitting rates not seen since before
the start of the HIV epidemic. In addition, the spread of drug-resistant
strains of infections including gonorrhea and syphilis threatens the
efficacy of medicines commonly used for treatment.

The CDC
requested less overall funding
for 2017 for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis,
sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and tuberculosis (TB) than it did
for 2016. For STIs, the CDC’s funding request has remained stagnant,
while the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Research funding request is $10
million lower than the previous year. While the CDC did request more
funding for 2017 than the agency actually received in 2016, enacted
funding has consistently fallen short of requested funding.

AHF: CDC should prioritize condom use, place
STDs at forefront of national public health agenda

Regarding the abandonment of the condom culture in the US: advocates
from AHF note that in just a one month period between December 2013 and
January 2014—and with little public review—the CDC changed its
longstanding prevention wording regarding condom use from using the
phrase “unprotected
sex
” to describe sex without a condom or some form of barrier
protection to now using the phrase, “condomless sex,”—a move that may
suggest to some that condomless sex is protected. A further indication
of the erosion of the condom culture came in February of this year, when
the CDC released a plan to prevent 185,000 new HIV infections—and failed
to even mention condoms
as a potential tool in that effort.

AHF’s Wellness Centers provide free testing for sexually transmitted
diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. To find the
nearest location for STD screening and treatment, visit http://www.freestdcheck.org.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
629,000 individuals in 37 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

Contacts

AHF
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications
+1.323.308.1833
work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Christopher
Johnson,
Associate Director of Communications
+1.323.960.4846
work
+1.310.880.9913 mobile
christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org