NACCHO Highlights Need for Greater Support for Local Health Departments to Combat Rise in STDs

Apr 18, 2019 | nacchovoice

STD Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), also referred to as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), with local health departments and with local and national policymakers, stakeholders, and the public. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the voice of the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments is working diligently to support their members’ work to address rising STD rates across the country and to implement innovative projects, such as its Express STI Visits Initiative, to provide new ways to link individuals to testing and treatment.

“Local health departments work hard every day to reduce STD rates and improve health outcomes in their communities by testing for, treating, and ultimately, preventing STDs. This includes strong prevention and treatment messaging, as well as the essential work of disease intervention specialists (DIS) who are on the frontlines of efforts to disrupt the spread of STDs and prevent outbreaks,” said NACCHO Chief Executive Officer Lori Tremmel Freeman. “But as NACCHO’s research shows, they need more support—stagnant or decreasing resources are not enough, and local health departments and their partners need more resources to address these rapidly rising STD rates.”

While STD rates are quickly increasing, federal, state, and local resources have stayed the same or decreased, leaving public health systems strained, including local health departments. In 2017, NACCHO queried its HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis Sentinel Network and found that nearly one-third of local health departments reported anticipating budget cuts in the next fiscal year and the majority experiencing stagnant funding for STD programs at best.

As the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) STD Surveillance Report shows, STD rates increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2017, and there has been a steep, sustained increases in the incidence of all three reportable STDs.

Gonorrhea diagnoses increased by almost 70% percent overall and nearly doubled among men. Increases in diagnoses among women — and the speed with which they are increasing — are also concerning, with cases going up for the third year in a row.

Primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses increased 76%. Congenital syphilis (transmitted from the pregnant person to the fetus) cases rose sharply with 918 cases in 2017, a number that has more than doubled since 2013. This included 64 reported stillbirths as a result of congenital syphilis (up from 41 in 2016).

Chlamydia remained the most common condition reported to CDC. More than 1.7 million cases were diagnosed in 2017, with 45% of cases among 15- to 24-year-old females. The preliminary data for 2018 sadly shows these trends continuing and a new CDC analysis suggests that gay and bisexual men are at higher risk for extragenital STDs (e.g. chlamydia or gonorrhea in the throat or rectum), which increases treatment difficulty, drug resistance, and the risk of HIV infection. While these STDs are treatable, if untreated, they can cause serious health consequences such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and stillbirth.

Throughout STD Awareness Month, NACCHO is highlighting each of CDC’s four STD Awareness campaigns: Syphilis Strikes Back, GYT: Get Yourself Tested, Treat Me Right, and Talk. Test. Treat. New blog posts are available each Thursday of April and will feature work that local health departments and NACCHO are doing around the country to address STDs.

For more information, read about our STD work and check out our STD policy statement.


About nacchovoice

More posts by nacchovoice

Related Posts

Management illustration 2
  • Funding Opportunity
  • Opportunity
  • Performance Improvement
  • Training

RFP: Fundamentals of Financial Management Course Update

With support from the CDC, NACCHO is announcing a request for proposals to...

Sep 27, 2022 | Bianca Lawrence

RFP: Fundamentals of Financial Management Course Update

Expectant Mother Texting web
  • Community Engagement
  • Community Resilience
  • Emergency Response
  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

Preparedness Month Profile: An Interview with Sue...

To celebrate Preparedness Month, NACCHO is highlighting Western Upper Peninsula...

Sep 27, 2022 | Elana Filipos, Gideon Amaniel

Preparedness Month Profile: An Interview with Sue...

Infant Ready Kits Arrive CO web
  • Community Engagement
  • Emergency Response
  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

Preparedness Month Profile: An Interview with Allison...

To celebrate Preparedness Month, NACCHO is highlighting Jefferson County...

Sep 27, 2022 | Elana Filipos, Gideon Amaniel

Preparedness Month Profile: An Interview with Allison...

PHEP 20th Anniversary Badge
  • Emergency Response

Marking the 20th Anniversary of the Public Health...

2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness...

Sep 27, 2022 | Beth Hess

Marking the 20th Anniversary of the Public Health...

Splash park
  • Community Engagement
  • Community Resilience
  • Climate Change

City of Somerville Hosts Year-Round Preparedness...

The City of Somerville’s “Keep Cool Somerville” initiative works to improve...

Sep 26, 2022 | Beth Hess

City of Somerville Hosts Year-Round Preparedness...

House Live 1

House Passes Public Safety Legislation to Support Mental...

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a package of public safety...

Sep 23, 2022 | Lluvia Botello, Kerry Allen

House Passes Public Safety Legislation to Support Mental...

I Stock 1255590806 healthcare staff resized
  • Funding Opportunity
  • Antibiotic Resistance
  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease

2023-2024 LEAP Fellowship Opportunity

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare...

Sep 23, 2022 | Jaclyn Abramson

2023-2024 LEAP Fellowship Opportunity

Abstracts web
  • Community Resilience
  • Emergency Response
  • Health Equity & Social Justice
  • Medical Reserve Corps

Now Accepting Abstracts: 2023 Preparedness Summit

Submit an abstract by October 24.

Sep 22, 2022 | Beth Hess

Now Accepting Abstracts: 2023 Preparedness Summit

Opportunity
  • Funding Opportunity
  • Workforce Development

Public Health AmeriCorps Funding Opportunity

Applications due January 4, 2023.

Sep 22, 2022 | Beth Hess

Public Health AmeriCorps Funding Opportunity

Back to Top