Washington, D.C. - In recognition of April being National STD Awareness Month, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) reintroduced a resolution urging the House of Representatives to focus greater attention on activities related to the prevention, screening and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). This resolution was first introduced during the 110th Congress by the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
The United States currently has the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections in the industrialized world with an estimated 19,000,000 new cases of sexually transmitted diseases. Almost half of these infections occur in young people between the ages of 15 to 24. These infections pose a tremendous human and economic burden on the U.S. with direct medical costs as high as $15.9 billion per year.
A 2008 report from the CDC estimated that 1 in 4 young women between the ages of 14 and 19 in the United States, or 3.2 million teenage girls is infected with at least one of the of the most common sexually transmitted diseases including human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, herpes simplex virus, and trichomoniasis. The CDC report also found that 48 percent of young African American women were infected with an STD compared to 20 percent of young White women.
“I am extremely pleased and proud to reintroduce this resolution encouraging the prevention of sexually transmitted infections – an issue that was very important to my late friend and colleague Stephanie Tubbs Jones,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “The issue of STDs has grown to epic proportions in this country. Our young women, particularly young African American women are increasingly at risk, and we've got to do a better job in addressing these trends. "
"We must break the silence around STD's. We must talk candidly with our children about how to prevent STDs and equip them with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves and avoid the risks involved with unprotected sex."
Each year the CDC observes the month of April as STD Awareness Month, in order to raise public awareness about the impact of sexually transmitted diseases on the lives of Americans. This annual observance also provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of prevention, testing, and treatment services, and to encourage greater collaboration between the public and private sector to address STI’s. For more information on National STD Awareness Month, or to find a testing site near you, visit the CDC’s website at: http://findSTDtest.org.
The Honorable Barbara Lee (CA-9)
2444 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-0323 (Direct)
(202) 579-1925 (Cell)
(202) 225-9817 (Fax)