5:00 p.m EST,
Tuesday November 19, 1996
Contact: Tammy Nunnally
(404) 639-8895

Status of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States

Statement from David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Director, CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strongly supports enhanced national emphasis on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States.

STDs represent approximately 85% of leading infectious diseases reported to CDC. For women, infants, minorities, and young people especially, the consequences of these diseases are extremely costly, dangerous--and sometimes even deadly

We welcome efforts to focus attention on this serious health threat and believe STD prevention should be a high priority in communities all across the United States. CDC will carefully review the Institute of Medicine's report, The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases and will respond to their recommendations to CDC. CDC is commited to providing ongoing public health leadership in STD prevention research and helping State Health Departments and local communities develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive STD prevention and treatment strategies.

At the same time, we must recognize that the public sector can't act alone. The private sector must also play a much larger role. A number of players are going to have to step up to the plate on this issue and recognize that they have a role to play. We must take every opportunity to reach our young people with the information they need to prevent STDs, and to provide, as part of routine health care practice, the screening and treatment needed to prevent serious complications. To do this requires the commitment of parents, educators, and community groups, in addition to health care providers and public health agencies.

Return to NAC STDs page