Public Health Funding and STD Testing & Awareness
By Nar Ramkissoon
April is STD Awareness month in the US
Did you know every year over 19 million new people are diagnosed with STDs in the United States? Half of these newly-infected Americans are between the ages of 15 and 24, which is the demographic least likely to have proper health insurance. Without health insurance, STD tests can cost hundreds of dollars. You can easily see how millions of cases go undetected every year, spreading STDs and causing serious health risks later in life.
Infographic: STIs Among Young Americans
Public health funding currently provides discounted sexual health services to the uninsured. A large number of teens and young adults rely on these local health departments to assist them with their health needs, including STD services. These publicly-funded health services are extremely important to the wellbeing of millions, but are often the first expense cut from budgets, and are currently not adequately funded to operate at a level that meets the demand.
Some of the effects of untreated STDs include cancers, infertility, and death. Considering most STDs are preventable or curable with proper knowledge and access, the investment in proper knowledge and health services for the uninsured would have positive effects on the United State’s overall health.
In lieu of more funding, public health clinics can do more to increase their own revenues as well. Clinics can improve their health insurance claims process and billing programs to tremendously boost the amount of money they bring in. Upp Technology offers public health clinics with a free revenue evaluation to help ensure revenue is maximized as well.
Public health clinics help millions of people every year, but there are still millions more in need. With expanded public health funding, and smarter claims and billing practices by the clinics themselves, there would be a decrease in STDs, benefitting millions of uninsured young adults.