In response to today’s Los Angeles Times story about L.A. County pushing for sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening providers to bill private insurers, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) describes the move by county public health officials as shortsighted.
“STI rates across the county are soaring while condom use has fallen off a cliff. In an environment with so much judgment and shame around getting tested, the last thing we want to do is make the experience even more uncomfortable by questioning people about their insurance status,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “When you are in a hole, stop digging — every obstacle will mean more STIs and ultimately more costs for L.A. County.”
AHF provides STI screening services countywide regardless of ability to pay and has a long history of sexual health advocacy campaigns in the region and nationally. AHF has been sounding the alarm on the state of the STI crisis in L.A. County and directly to the L.A. Department of Public Health for several years, most recently with prominent ad campaigns “Gonorrhea Alert” featuring a steamship colliding with an iceberg and “Just Use It” depicting a condom-wrapped banana.