State legislators, primarily from CSG’s Eastern Regional Conference states, attended a 4-hour session to learn more about health reform and state policies can reduce health disparities related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS. Presentation by Dr. Gale Burstein, University of Buffalo Pediatrics Associates.

Wisconsin's recent sex-education law is spurring controversy in local school districts.

Health educators are providing sexual health information to individuals who send questions via text messages and websites. These innovative approaches are effective in reaching teens through the media they use most, enable education on how to prevent sexually transmitted infections and how to get tested, overcome limited opportunities for face-to-face education, and stretch the limited resources for public health programs. 

African-American women are hardest hit by HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, and many are unaware of their infections. The highest teen birth rates occur among Hispanics.  This 12-page brief examines the causes and impact of these disparities, and describes evidence-based policy solutions that states have implemented.

Sexual health education has taken on a whole new venue. Public health programs are offering teens the ability to ask  questions anonymously and get personalized answers through text messaging services and web sites.

One-third of teens become pregnant before age 20. One-fourth of young women acquire a sexually transmitted infection by age 19, making them more susceptible to HIV infection.  This 4-page brief describes successful state health and education policies as well as successful targeted youth education activities that can prevent these conditions.

More than 1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S., and are living longer since drug treatments became available in the 1990's.  African-Americans are disproportionately affected, and represent nearly half of all people living with HIV.  More than half of all Americans living with HIV reside in southern states.  State Medicaid and prevention programs are connecting with communities to help HIV/AIDS patients stay productive and to prevent HIV transmission. Effective policies include HIV testing as part of routine medical care and increasing public awareness of the need for HIV testing.