There is a lot of opportunity for smarter investment in health here in Indiana
Research Triangle Park, NC (PRWEB) December 9, 2008
The U.S. spends a staggering 14.7 billion dollars each year to treat new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and a new study by the American Social Health Association (ASHA) and the Indiana firm, Policy Resource Group, LLC finds much more can be done to stem the epidemic. With 19 million new STD infections each year in the U.S. (a rate of 36 every minute), it might be surprising that states invest on average only $0.23 per capita for STD prevention.
Indiana ranks 42 out of 50 states with a $0.02 per capita investment in STD prevention. This is
compared with the $9.72 per capita investment that Indiana makes for public health overall, which is a ranking of 49 out of 50 states. "There is a lot of opportunity for smarter investment in health here in Indiana," said Dr. Beth Meyerson, President and CEO of Policy Resource Group, LLC and the codirector of the study.
The study found that states are losing money in the long run because they are not investing in
prevention. "Investing in STD prevention would significantly reduce the cost of treatment for sexuallytransmitted diseases and for their health consequences. This is a pay now or pay much more later scenario because states are paying either way," said Meyerson. In 2006, the U.S. spent $773.68 in treatment costs for every reported case of an STD. This is in contrast to the $0.83 per capita investment by the federal and state governments in STD prevention. The study found that on average states fund less than ¼ of their STD prevention effort.
The study is the first of its kind to document what states are doing to fund STD prevention. State
policies for STD prevention were also reviewed. Findings indicate that the state policy environment for public health and STD prevention generally is less than hospitable to good health and prevention. Several basic public health policies such as prenatal testing for STDs and electronic laboratory reporting of sexually transmitted infections were in place by less than half of the states.
ASHA president and CEO Lynn Barclay says "We believe investments in STI prevention programs are cost-effective, and are hopeful policy makers will utilize the findings from this research as they
consider the specific resources needed for STI control in their own states. This is a wonderful
opportunity to be proactive in addressing a critical epidemic that disproportionately impacts women
and communities of color."
The report as well as individual state profiles can be found on the website of the American Social
Health Association at http://www.ashastd.org/stdpreventionfunding/.
P.O. Box 13827
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
(919) 361 - 3124 (voice)
(919) 361 - 8425 (fax)
(919) 361-3125 (voice)
(919) 757-5045 (mobile)
Beth Meyerson, MDiv., PhD
Policy Resource Group, LLC
PO Box 217
McCordsville, IN 46055
States Aren't Investing in Prevention for STDs
$0.23 per capita investment on average