For Immediate Release
April 23, 2009
Contact: Nicole Y. Williams
Barbara Lee Reintroduces Resolution Encouraging STD Prevention
Washington, D.C. - Today, in recognition of April being National STD Awareness Month, Congresswoman Barbara Lee 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 last 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 $15.3 billion per year.
The 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. These infections can lead to long-term health risks including infertility and cervical cancer.
“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 being hit the hardest. The CDC report found that 48 percent of young African American women are infected with an STD compared to 20 percent of young White women."
"In the case of STDs, silence can be deadly. 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."
The resolution supports the goals of National STD Awareness Month by encouraging the Federal Government, States, localities to provide additional funding for screening and treatment services and requests increased programming and activities to educate Americans of all ages on the risks and prevention of STDs.
The Honorable Barbara Lee (CA-9)
2444 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-0323 (Direct)
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