Breaking News
June 20, 2018 - Clinical trial targets metastatic colorectal cancer with new combination therapy
June 20, 2018 - Researchers discover pesticide-free way to limit mosquitoes and reduce spread of West Nile virus
June 20, 2018 - Persistent psychological stress contributes to development and progression of vision loss
June 20, 2018 - Study introduces novel strategy to obtain reasonable drug cost estimates for cost-effectiveness analyses
June 20, 2018 - Does Salt Water Help Your Cut? And Other Health Myths of Summer
June 20, 2018 - Scientists help identify genetic markers for prostate cancer in global DNA download
June 19, 2018 - Common ingredient in toothpaste and hand wash could contribute to antibiotic resistance
June 19, 2018 - WHO launches multiyear campaign to eliminate use of trans fat
June 19, 2018 - Scientists could build better drugs by learning from bacteria-derived molecules
June 19, 2018 - Comparative silence between firing spikes of neurons reveals what they are really up to
June 19, 2018 - JAK inhibitors associated with aggressive lymphoma
June 19, 2018 - SetPoint announces positive long-term results of bioelectronic medicine to treat rheumatoid arthritis
June 19, 2018 - Hypnosis may help reduce fear, anxiety in children undergoing treatment for cancer
June 19, 2018 - Scientists point to potentially promising treatment target for deadly brain cancers
June 19, 2018 - After opioid overdose, only 30 percent get medicine to treat addiction
June 19, 2018 - Patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease over age 65 continue to derive benefit from DBS-f treatment
June 19, 2018 - Microbiotica partners with University of Adelaide to develop defined bacterial product for ulcerative colitis
June 19, 2018 - Paratek Presents New Analysis from Combined Phase 3 Skin Infection Studies Highlighting Efficacy of Omadacycline in Treating Drug Resistant S. aureus
June 19, 2018 - Autism is not linked to eating fish in pregnacy
June 19, 2018 - Scientists create universal assembly method to enhance cancer therapy and diagnostics
June 19, 2018 - FDA provides guidance on Novus Therapeutics’ development path for OP-02 to treat otitis media
June 19, 2018 - Scientists discover new mechanism controlling multiple sclerosis risk
June 19, 2018 - Award granted to Neem Biotech to develop antimicrobial intervention for chronic lung infections
June 19, 2018 - Study finds combined risk of death and developing cancer to be lowest in light drinkers
June 19, 2018 - Novel app teaches users how to stop life-threatening bleeding and save lives
June 19, 2018 - Single blood sample can provide adequate confirmation of diabetes
June 19, 2018 - New stimulation method increases hope for improving disorders of consciousness
June 19, 2018 - FDA Issues Complete Response Letter for Duobrii (halobetasol propionate and tazarotene) Lotion
June 19, 2018 - Defining the biology of autism
June 19, 2018 - Researchers use optogenetics to shape tissues
June 19, 2018 - Scientists discover genetic causes underlying group of related infant cancers
June 19, 2018 - Innovative digital home testing kit benefits patients with kidney conditions
June 19, 2018 - New guidance on selection and evaluation of wearable devices for use in regulatory clinical trials
June 19, 2018 - Researchers understand the role of brain’s ‘reward circuit’ in autism spectrum disorder
June 19, 2018 - Researchers propose new strategy to combat micro-pollutants in water
June 19, 2018 - Illicit Opioid Trade Up With Restrictions on Hydrocodone
June 19, 2018 - New 3-D imaging analysis technique could lead to improved arthritis treatment
June 19, 2018 - Study finds increased risk of mortality in people with cold agglutinin disease in five years after diagnosis
June 19, 2018 - Psychologists can play important role in treating alcohol problems
June 19, 2018 - Study finds elevated risk of congenital defects in lithium-exposed infants
June 19, 2018 - Test-Taking Can Be Tough for Kids With Vision Problems
June 19, 2018 - Injections for knee osteoarthritis—’subtle but significant’ impact of revisions in clinical practice guidelines
June 19, 2018 - Researchers develop new approach to assess effectiveness of Men B vaccine
June 19, 2018 - Study shows link between financial literacy and hospitalization risk in older adults
June 19, 2018 - If you’ve got hep C, spitting can be a felony
June 19, 2018 - New study examines how the brain plays role in rheumatoid arthritis inflammation
June 19, 2018 - Researchers discover new defense mechanism against oxygen radicals
June 19, 2018 - WVU researcher aims to produce updated whooping cough vaccine
June 19, 2018 - Scientists develop novel computational framework to support personalized cancer treatment
June 19, 2018 - Rate of dementia on the decline—but beware of growing numbers
June 19, 2018 - Microglia play protective role in response to retinal detachment, shows study
June 19, 2018 - Technology breakthrough could enable detection of fetal genetic abnormalities in early pregnancy
June 19, 2018 - Novel chip can be used to identify rhinovirus strains as cause of asthma
June 19, 2018 - Effects of in vitro fertilization depend on genetic variation inherited from parents
June 19, 2018 - Heart attack patients unable to resume work report depression and financial hardship
June 19, 2018 - Study combines gene editing and stem cell technologies to predict person’s risk for heart disease
June 19, 2018 - Weight loss of 20% or greater results in better outcomes for overweight, obese adults with knee osteoarthritis
June 19, 2018 - Alnylam Reports Updated Positive Results from Phase 1/2 Study of Lumasiran in Patients with Primary Hyperoxaluria Type 1 (PH1)
June 19, 2018 - Study predicts most people with earliest Alzheimer’s signs won’t develop dementia associated with the disease
June 19, 2018 - Abnormal sleep duration linked to metabolic syndrome in new study
June 19, 2018 - Researchers develop new method to preserve fertility in boys with prepubertal cancer
June 19, 2018 - Late onset of diabetes could be indicative of pancreatic cancer
June 19, 2018 - WHO releases new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)
June 19, 2018 - Skin tone makes big difference in diagnosis and treatment of dermatologic conditions
June 19, 2018 - After addiction, the long road back to good health
June 19, 2018 - High blood pressure could be an early sign of dementia
June 19, 2018 - Innovative drugs and new European treatment guidelines refine, improve MS therapy
June 19, 2018 - BIDMC scientists develop new tool to benefit patients with HCV-associated liver failure
June 19, 2018 - Diabetes diagnosis may come with increased risk of pancreatic cancer for African-Americans, Latinos
June 19, 2018 - Personalized Goals, Cash Motivate Heart Patients to Exercise
June 19, 2018 - Nipah Virus (NiV) | CDC
June 19, 2018 - Genomics offers new treatment options for infants with range of soft tissue tumors
June 18, 2018 - Study shows how moderate consumption of alcohol can protect the heart
June 18, 2018 - Gene editing technology predicts heart disease risk
June 18, 2018 - Who Will and Who Won’t Get the Flu?
June 18, 2018 - Research shows effective responses to online feedback
June 18, 2018 - Scientists to focus on big data and genetics to identify risk factors for dementia
June 18, 2018 - Ultrasound-based technology for assessing overweight adolescents with liver disease
June 18, 2018 - Osteochondral knee defect treated using cell technology
June 18, 2018 - New clinical trial finds no evidence to support use of tamsulosin for kidney stones
Redirecting family planning funds could undercut STD fight

Redirecting family planning funds could undercut STD fight

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A Trump administration effort to shift family planning funding toward groups that may not provide comprehensive services and away from organizations that provide abortions could cripple other federal efforts to curb an explosion in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), some public health officials fear.

“This is the perfect storm, and it comes at absolutely the worst time,” said Daniel Daltry, program chief of the HIV/AIDS, STD and Viral Hepatitis Program at the Vermont Department of Health.

In 2016, there were more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was the highest number of reported cases ever.

Now the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed changes to the rules for the federal family planning services program, known as Title X. Daltry and other public health officials fear the changes will make testing and treatment for STDs harder to get.

The new rules, if adopted in their current form, would require that Title X services be physically and financially separate from abortion services.

Many family planning clinics are committed to offering comprehensive services, including contraception and abortion referrals, said David C. Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, a membership group of public health department STD directors and community organizations. “These principles are near and dear to them, and if the changes are enacted we fear many programs would decide not to take Title X funding.”

With less funds, they’d have fewer resources available for STD screening, treatment and outreach.

Title X funds have never been permitted to be used for abortions. But President Donald Trump and other Republicans have vowed to cut off all federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions.

It’s too soon to know what will happen. The proposed rule was published June 1 and is available for public comment until the end of July.

Title X provides grants that fund family planning, STD screening and breast and cervical cancer screening at nearly 4,000 sites nationwide.

The program primarily serves low-income, young women, although a growing number of men receive services at Title X funded clinics as well.

The clinics are recognized primarily for providing contraceptive services, but the STD screening and treatment services they provide also are critical. Young people ages 15 through 24 accounted for half of all new STD cases in 2016 (the most recent figures available), according to the CDC. One in 4 four adolescent girls who were sexually active had a sexually transmitted disease.

People who are infected typically don’t have symptoms. The diseases are generally easy to cure with antibiotics but without treatment can cause serious health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, and may lead to infertility.

Even if young people have coverage through their parents’ insurance, many avoid using it, concerned that the health plan may notify their parents that they’ve been tested or treated for a sexually transmitted disease. Instead, they may visit a clinic receiving Title X funding where they can receive confidential services that they pay for on a sliding scale based on their income.

Daltry and other public health experts are concerned that proposed changes to the Title X family planning program rules may result in the closing of some Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics that also provide abortion services.

The number of STD clinics funded by local or state governments has dwindled over the past decade, and many states rely on other providers for testing and treatment, Harvey said.

With 12 sites in Vermont, “Planned Parenthood has operated as our STD clinic,” said Daltry. No one should live more than a 45-minute drive from a site. And while there are other providers throughout the state, “the same continuum of care might not be offered at all sites.”

However, advocates of the Trump administration’s plan point out that some new clinics may also now get Title X funding. Earlier this year, the administration made a point of encouraging providers that emphasize natural family planning methods, sometimes called fertility awareness, to apply for money.

The Catholic Medical Association, which on its website emphasizes the need for any national health care legislation to provide “respect for human life” and to not fund “or mandate abortion as a ‘health care benefit,'” applied for Title X funding this year. The organization also notes the importance of “conscience rights for health professionals.”

Some Catholic medical practices – like the one where she works — choose not to prescribe birth control pills or other Food and Drug Administration-approved methods of contraception, said Dr. Anne Nolte, a family physician at St. Peter’s Gianna Center, a gynecology and infertility practice in New York City. But “patients are welcome to come to us for STD screening and treatment,” she said.

The proposed regulation doesn’t focus on sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, but it appears in one provision that some advocates find concerning.

The rule would require that teenagers who come to a Title X clinic with an STD or who are pregnant be screened to ensure they aren’t victims of sexual abuse.

“The idea that every single young person under the age of 18 who is there because they either have [a sexually transmitted infection] or because they need a pregnancy test has to be screened is troubling,” said Kinsey Hasstedt, a senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research and advocacy organization. “They’re there for health care support, and instead they get another level of screening.”

Please visit khn.org/columnists to send comments or ideas for future topics for the Insuring Your Health column.

Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles