Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS

This year’s HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana, refocused public attention on HIV and AIDS as an ongoing public health issue. Time magazine featured the Indiana story on its June 15, 2015, cover. About 1.2 million people in the U.S. currently live with HIV, and one in eight (12 percent) of those do not know that they have the virus. Each year 50,000 new cases are diagnosed, a number that has remained steady since the late 1990s, despite significant educational efforts at federal, state and community levels.

Earlier this year, an unexpected outbreak of HIV in southern Indiana triggered a high-profile emergency response while demonstrating the dangerous link between substance abuse and certain infectious diseases. This FREE eCademy webcast explores lessons from Indiana's experience, policy options and the latest research on effective treatment of substance abuse.

Earlier this year, Indiana experienced an outbreak of HIV in one small rural community that was traced back to needle-sharing among individuals using and abusing prescription drugs. Public health experts warn that other communities could encounter outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C given the rampant abuse of prescription drugs and heroin. 

CSG's FREE eCademy webcast at 2 p.m. on Aug. 18  will explore lessons from Indiana's experience, policy options that states might pursue and the latest research on effective treatment of substance abuse.

Earlier this year, GlaxoSmithKline, a member of CSG’s Leadership Circle, announced its collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to create a center dedicated to finding a cure for HIV and AIDS. The HIV Cure center will be located on the university’s campus and is expected to attract top talent from around the world.

Creating and implementing effective risk-management strategies for injection drug users is a challenge around the world. Countless policies have been proposed and implemented with varying degrees of success. The World Health Organization, also known as WHO, has developed a comprehensive program comprised of nine interventions designed to mitigate the risks associated with injection drug use, including needle exchange programs; opioid substitution therapy; prevention, diagnosis and treatment for diseases related to drug abuse, and public education campaigns for injection drug users and their sexual partners. Some of these strategies have been implemented recently by Midwestern states.

I learned a few things last week when I was visiting with Indiana Rep. Ed Clere, one of the new co-chairs of CSG’s Health Public Policy Committee.

  • That week, the state announced the 100,000th person enrolled in the Medicaid expansion waiver, called HIP 2.0 in Indiana, after the program opened less than a month before. Indiana had three Medicaid managed care organizations already engaged in the state and the state Medicaid office and the
  • ...

Human papillomavirus, known as HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and a principal cause of cervical cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has approved, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended, two HPV vaccinesCervarix and Gardasil. Both prevent certain types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. Since the vaccine was introduced in 2006, the prevalence of the vaccine-type HPV has dropped by 56 percent. 


Stateline Midwest ~ October 2012

More of the nation’s teenagers are getting immunized against diseases such as meningitis and diphtheria, but U.S. vaccination rates also show wide variances among the states. In addition, federal data show little progress in the percentage of girls receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
“We are very concerned about plateauing in HPV vaccination rates,” says Dr. Melinda Wharton of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to CDC data, less than half of American middle school students received sex education in 11 core topic areas, while about 4 out 5 high school students received sex education in 8 core topic areas. Sex education is mandated in 21 states and Washington, D.C. State laws in 26 states require abstinence be stressed and in 11 states abstinence must be covered in the curriculum. Twelve states have passed laws that require medically accurate information be provided in sex education classes. 

Expedited partner therapy is a recommended option for treating sexually transmitted diseases. Typically when a patient tests positive for a STD they are treated with an antibiotic. EPT enables healthcare clinicians to provide patients with either antibiotics or prescriptions for antibiotics for their sexual partner without a visit by the partner to a health care center.