Posts Tagged ‘STD’

The anti-abortion game of life

Posted on: May 4th, 2012 by Sofia Resnick 5 Comments

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/jml5571

To bring down the high chlamydia infections rate among Tennessee teenagers, an anti-abortion pregnancy center in Athens, Tenn., has proposed spending federal tax dollars on a life-sized version of the Game of Life. (more…)

Michigan health depts targeting HIV-positive pregnant women unfairly, experts say

Posted on: December 1st, 2011 by The American Independent 14 Comments

On World AIDS Day, President Barack Obama declared that America is on its way to defeating the global pandemic known as the AIDS virus. At an online conference Thursday, the President announced more funding ($50 million more) for HIV/AIDS treatment in the U.S. and a higher target goal for how many Americans will be on treatment by 2013 (6 million people). And while HIV patients and advocates welcome efforts to fight and treat the disease on a large scale, many agree that at the state and local levels, serious problems with treatment programs and the criminalization of HIV-positive individuals often go unaddressed. (more…)

Palmetto federally funded abstinence curriculum used inaccuracies in line with guidelines

Posted on: October 5th, 2011 by Sofia Resnick No Comments

UPDATE: Oct. 6 Amended with a correction.

A new congressional proposal to funnel federal grant money from sex-education programs that instruct in pregnancy and STI-preventive measures into abstinence-only curriculum evokes memories of a similar federally-mandated initiative that emerged during the Bush administration.

(more…)

Study suggests more than socioeconomic factors at work when choosing birth-control methods

Posted on: September 12th, 2011 by Sofia Resnick No Comments

A recent study of sexually-active women in California finds that socioeconomic status does not fully explain why certain groups of women in the Golden State use more effective birth-control methods than others, according to a report published in the September 2011 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, a reproductive-health journal published by the Guttmacher Institute. (more…)

Vatican: Comprehensive sex ed in NYC schools is ‘useless and even harmful’

Posted on: September 2nd, 2011 by Sofia Resnick No Comments

A new New York City education policy that mandates comprehensive sex education in all city public schools has caused ire within the Vatican. (more…)

Government considers funding extra STD tests for seniors, disabled

Posted on: February 25th, 2011 by Sofia Resnick No Comments

Updated: 12:09 p.m.

Seniors and people with disabilities who receive health care through Medicare* might have an additional service covered in the near future: testing for sexually transmitted diseases such syphilis, gonorrhea and hepatitis B, according to a Reuters report. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is due to decide on the measure within the next nine to 12 months.

Government-funded health insurance already covers HIV testing, but now CMS is looking into paying for additional STD exams, in an effort to promote preventative care and reduce the amount spent on costly treatments for people who do become infected.

CMS spokesperson Don McLeod said that under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare has to cover what other private insurers cover if the government deems these procedures appropriate and necessary. Cost of the increased coverage is never factored into CMS’ determination, he said.

“Somebody else has to worry about how to pay for it.”

The tests up for consideration -– chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and syphilis -– target people considered to be high risk for these diseases: women, pregnant women and people with disabilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates:

  • Approximately 1.2 million chlamydial infections were reported in 2008, though the disease is frequently under-reported because many people don’t know they have chlamydia and do not seek testing. In women, untreated infections can increase the risk of HIV, cause pelvic inflammatory disease, and lead to infertility or pregnancies outside the uterus.
  • More than 700,000 Americans contract new gonorrheal infections each year, but only about half of these infections are reported to the CDC. A pregnant women with gonorrhea can give birth to a baby who is blind or has a life-threatening blood infection.
  • In 2007, there were an estimated 43,000 new hepatitis B virus infections in the U.S., and an estimated 800,000 to 1.4 million Americans have chronic hepatitis B.
  • More than 36,000 cases of syphilis were reported in 2006. Reported cases of congenital syphilis in newborns increased from 339 in 2005 to 349 in 2006. Pregnant women with syphilis are at greater risk at giving birth to stillborns. Rates have increased in men every year between 2000 and 2006 from 2.6 to 5.7 percent. In 2006, 64 percent of reported syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men.

According to Reuters, since 2009 CMS has had the power to add coverage for preventive services; currently Medicare covers pap smears and pelvic exams and tests for colorectal cancer and diabetes.

Furthering preventative care, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that it will allocate $100 million to states that offer incentives to Medicaid beneficiaries who adopt healthy habits, as part of the Affordable Care Act. For instance, a state could establish a set of goals -– such as quitting smoking or losing weight -– and people who meet those goals could be offered direct cash incentives, gift cards, reduced Medicaid program fees or even services not normally available through Medicaid.

“With the right incentives, we believe that people can change their behaviors and stop smoking or lose weight,” said CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick, in a press release. “Not only can preventive programs help to improve individuals’ health, by keeping people healthy we can also lower the nation’s overall health care costs.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is now inviting proposals from states to compete for grant awards for this legislatively mandated Medicaid Incentives for Prevention of Chronic Diseases Program. The program will target behaviors that cause some of the most critical chronic conditions Americans face: smoking (kills 430,000 people a year, according to HHS), obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. States’ notices of intent are due April 4; applications are due May 2.

Seniors and people with disabilities who receive health care through Medicare* might have an additional service covered in the near future: testing for sexually transmitted diseases such syphilis, gonorrhea and hepatitis B, according to a Reuters report. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is due to decide on the measure within the next nine to 12 months.

*Earlier we stated that additional STD coverage could be extended to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, but only Medicare beneficiaries would be affected.