STD Report Underscores Urgent Public Health and Research Needs

Showing a more than 100 percent increase in the numbers of infants affected by syphilis during the last five years, unprecedented incidence of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, and the spread of gonorrhea resistant to multiple treatments, the 2017 STD Surveillance Report released by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control today represents a call for immediate and responsive action.

Transfer of Funding from Infectious Diseases Prevention, Care and Research Threatens Public Health Responses

The administration’s transfer of funds from infectious diseases prevention, care and biomedical research programs to offset the rising costs of the “Unaccompanied Alien Children” program comes as our nation prepares for flu season and confronts unprecedented increases in cases of sexually transmitted diseases, spikes in infections linked to the opioid crisis.

Global Health Leaders Celebrate PEPFAR, Call for Increased Support

Leaders of research and programmatic responses to HIV globally gathered on Capitol Hill Thursday to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief launch and the flagship program’s achievements, but also to cite urgent needs to strengthen and accelerate the program’s efforts toward ending the pandemic.

Senate Passes Opioids Bill Responding to Infections and Workforce Shortages

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly last night to approve the Opioids Crisis Response Act of 2018 – their version of the comprehensive legislation (HR 6) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June. The Infectious Diseases Society of America, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society support the bill as an important step to improve access to substance use treatment and to responding to the significant rise in infectious diseases associated with injection drug use

Joint LHHS, D0D Agreement Advances Critical Health Responses

The Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Defense Department Senate and House conference agreement released Thursday demonstrates legislators’ commitment to tackling some of the most critical health issues our nation faces. The agreement includes a $263 million increase in funding for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases supporting essential biomedical research and development, and $5 million added to 2018 funding levels for HIV, hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the increase reflected in the $1.132 billion allotted to CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, keeps funding for the four main divisions at 2018 levels, it also includes an allotment for a new center-wide initiative to prioritize areas most at risk for outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis due to injection drug use and the opioid epidemic, an important step in combating an ongoing crisis.

Preparation for Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes will be Critical

As the hurricane season reaches its peak, and Hurricane Florence brings threats of catastrophic weather events and flooding to the eastern United States, preparation and sustained responses will be essential to prevent and respond to public health and infectious disease impacts that pose risks in a storm’s aftermath.

Rising STD Rates Highlight Needs for Responsive Funding, Policies

While diagnostic tools and medicines can easily detect and treat sexually transmitted diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in late August a record high of 2.3 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in the U.S. 2017. The news represented the fourth consecutive year of significant increases in diagnoses and highlight needs for urgent, focused, and evidenced based policies and funding commitments.

Representatives Respond to Medicare Reimbursement Proposal Concerns

As thousands of physicians, including those providing infectious diseases and HIV care, cited damaging impacts of a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposal to slash reimbursements for evaluation and management of complex cases, lawmakers are signing onto a letter asking the agency to delay action on the move.

Societies Recommend Policies to Retain, Increase Ranks of Infectious Diseases Physician Scientists

Opioid, ID Report Recognizes Integrated Surveillance, Prevention, Care, Needs

Today the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released Integrating Responses at the Intersection of Opioid Use Disorder and Infectious Disease Epidemics, a report documenting the proceedings of a two-day meeting of public health, drug policy and law enforcement experts, including leaders of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association.

Senate Funding Bill Supports Critical Efforts, More Will be Needed

Senate appropriators last Friday released a bill for the coming year that repudiates both White House proposals for draconian cuts to essential public health and research programs, and a House proposal to eliminate critically needed family planning programs, important steps in addressing the unprecedented and evolving health threats we will face in 2019.

Prioritize Individual and Public Health at the Border