By Marie Solis
Amid record rates of sexually transmitted infections, the Trump administration is handing out millions of dollars in federal funds to religiously affiliated health centers that don’t believe in condoms and refuse to supply them.
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual report on STDs in the United States, announcing that, in 2018, the total number of cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis reached an all-time high of 2.4 million. It’s the fifth consecutive year of record STD rates. In the report’s foreword, Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention, noted that it wasn’t long ago that “gonorrhea rates were at historic lows, [and] syphilis was close to elimination.”
“That progress has since unraveled,” Bolan wrote.
CDC officials say one factor contributing to the ballooning STD rates is a lack of access to preventative healthcare services. Therefore, curbing the spread of STDs requires federal, state, and local programs to expand access and promote “sexual, reproductive, maternal, and infant health,” according to the report.
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