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Statement from HHS Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Rachel Levine for STI Awareness Week–April 14-20, 2024

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This week marks Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Awareness Week, an opportunity to raise awareness about STIs and how they impact our lives.

In the United States, data from 2022 show that STI remain high among all demographic groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.5 million cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia were reported in the United States. The most alarming concerns center around the syphilis and congenital syphilis epidemics, signaling an urgent need for swift innovation and collaboration among all STI prevention partners. The STI National Strategic Plan and complimentary STI Federal Implementation Plan aim to reverse the recent dramatic rise in STIs in the United States. In addition, HHS recently proposed an addendum to the STI National Strategic Plan to integrate herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 into the national plan.

STIs are a serious public health concern that require immediate attention. We must collectively work towards reducing the incidence of STIs and the harmful impact while addressing disparities in both diagnosis and access to treatment. This means taking a whole-person approach and working collaboratively across disciplines, such as health care providers, substance use disorder treatment providers, sexual health service providers, and supportive services providers.

Through advocacy, awareness, and increased access to care, we can combat the spread of STIs and safeguard the health of communities across our nation.

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