As STD Rates Skyrocket, AHF urges Congress to Up Prevention Funding

In Featured, News by AHF


WASHINGTON, DC (April 25, 2019) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) urges the U.S. Congress to fully fund the response to the alarming and frightening increase in new cases of sexually transmitted diseases with a $227.3 million appropriation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The request from AHF to Congress came in the form of a formal letter sent April 19th.

AHF operates 22 free STD treatment centers, also known as AHF Wellness Centers, in nine states in the U.S. (More information at

“STDs are at the highest levels ever, and continuing to grow at an accelerated pace, while federal funding for STD prevention has remained flat over the past 20 years,” said John Hassell, national director of advocacy for AHF. The letter to the U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee that drafts the US government’s public health budget said, “As you determine fiscal year 2020 funding levels, we ask that you please support $227.3 million, an increase of $70 million, for STD prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” 

  • Between 2013 and 2017 across the country, gonorrhea has increased 67%,
  • primary and secondary syphilis has increased 76%,
  • and congenital (mother-to-child) syphilis has increased 154%, all with devastating health consequences, including infertility and stillbirth.

State and local health departments that are largely supported by federal funding through STD prevention at CDC, have been struggling to keep up with the record numbers of new STD cases with limited and starving resources.

The STD prevention program at CDC, which funds STD programs in all 50 states, and seven large cities, has remained flat-funded over the last 15 years, leaving STD programs unable to meet the increasing demands on their health staff, who provide essential safety net services, including tracking and testing pregnant women for syphilis.

“We urge the Congress to adequately fund the against the out-of-control STD epidemic that is threatening public health,” added Hassell.

CALL TO ACTION: AHF urges people to call and e-mail their members of Congress and ask them to support an appropriation of $227.3 million for the CDC to fight the STD epidemic.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.1 million clients in 43 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe/Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website:, find us on Facebook: and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

WASHINGTON DC: John Hassell, National Director of Advocacy
Phone: (202)-774-4854 | E-mail: [email protected]

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