HHS Issues to Address in the 86th Legislative Session: Sexually Transmitted Disease Increases in Texas

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In August of 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released data documenting “steep and sustained” sexually transmitted disease (STD) increases nationwide. Approximately 2.3 million cases of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea were diagnosed in 2017, demonstrating an increase of 200,000 cases from 2016 and marking four straight years of increases in STD cases. These trends are the subject of much recent press in Texas. Due to national and state efforts to restrict public funding for women’s health services performed by organizations who provide abortion services or are associated with organizations providing such services, this is a critical public health issue to follow as the 86th legislative session approaches. The package of services referred to as “women’s health services” are essentially primary care services, such as screening and treatment for illnesses related to chronic diseases such as cancer and hypertension. Key women’s health service components critical

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