On top of that, “tremendous cuts are being projected by the current administration,” Hsu said.The White House’s 2018 budget proposed a 6.1 million reduction in funding for HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STD and tuberculosis prevention.Tracking and controlling transmission are already tricky since the disease manifests as a small painless lesion about a month after exposure.
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In 2012, more than half of all state and local STD programs experienced budget cuts, which resulted in reductions in clinic hours, contact tracing and screening for common STDs, according to a 2016 CDC report.
Twenty-one clinics closed that year, the report said.“We have seen the significant impact of state and local budget cuts in STD prevention programs,” the CDC's Bolan said.
That same section also features a link to a “Sexual Health FAQ” page where the user can learn more about HIV, getting tested and related topics.
Grindr for Equality, the app’s health and social justice arm, partners with a network of LGBTQ community centers called Center Link to offer free ad space to small, rural community centers that offer health services in places where there may be few alternatives, according to Director of Grindr for Equality Jack Harrison-Quintana.
“We will go on (social media), use public information and find ways to track people using their handles.”Such partnerships are important, both Hsu and Chan of Rhode Island say.
However, they must be built upon strong state and local screening, prevention and treatment efforts.
Bolan said she is particularly concerned about syphilis: It was almost eliminated a decade ago, she said, but “now it is rising with all populations — men, women and newborns, and we are seeing these increases in every region of the country.” “We need to improve our screening and treatment,” she said.