Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise due to drug use, poverty, unstable housing, and reduced access to sex education. Each year, nearly 20 million more people are infected with some type of STD in the U.S. With the advice of experts in the field this epidemic should be targeted and greatly reduced through the development of medicines and new systems of monitoring.
The first step is prevention. Although there is broad support for it, many young people are still not receiving the sex education they need in this country. For example, sex education is not mandated in Indiana. Lucky for me, I partially spent my high school years in Tucker, Georgia where it was. By the time I became an adult I knew how beneficial it would be for me to practice restraint and/or use protection. One of the things I hope to do as a legislator is to advocate for evidence-based education which will provide our youth with the tools they need in order to make informed decisions.
A study recently published by the Guttmacher Institute found that fewer youth now more than ever are being provided with timely sex education and information. Why is that? Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affect individuals of all ages, but particularly young people aged 15-24. These youth make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new infections in the U.S. per year. As a legislator, I hope to help advocate and provide funding for health centers and programs which take a proactive approach in providing testing and information to various communities in the United States, in addition to supporting the following:
Research into and development of contact tracing in order to control the spread of sexually infectious diseases
Research and technology in creating new and improved barrier devices for sexual intercourse
A renewed sense of urgency with regard to research and development in vaccinations for a variety of sexually transmitted diseases