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More money to fight STDs, please Mr President

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The United States of America has the highest sexually transmitted disease rate in the industrialised world, and health experts say it is only a lack of resources that prevents them getting on top of the problem.

Public health experts in America recently called on US President Donald Trump to declare a public health emergency over the rapid spike in STDs across the nation.

The rate of STDs has increased in the US four years in a row, with cases of gonorrhoea, syphilis, and chlamydia rising by 200,000 between 2016 and 2017, to a total of 2.3 million.

The National Coalition of STD Directors has said the results mean the US has the highest STD rates in the industrialised world.

It also said a fall in public health funding and resources is to blame.

The organisation has called on President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to intervene and to declare STDs in America a public health crisis.

“What goes along with that is emergency access to public health funding to make a dent in STD rates and to bring these rates down and make sure all American get access to the health care they need,” said the Coalition’s executive director David Harvey.

He added that $70 million in government funding was needed immediately, and $270 million needed for the 2019 financial year.

Michael Fraser, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, put it even more bluntly when calling for more government funding.

“We know what works for STD prevention,” he said. “We just don’t necessarily want to pay for it.”