STDs and the ACA (Obamacare)
April is a lesser known holiday month of sorts; National STD Awareness Month. It's a observance month to bring awareness to the growing rise in STDs in America.
Currently 20 million people contract an STD every year at a direct cost of about 16 billion dollars. The main problem where this growing number (up from 19 million) comes from is education and regular testing.
With the ACA all insurance must provide free testing for STDs as well as most treatments. Unfortunately millions of people still don't have insurance even though today is the last day to sign up for insurance without paying a fine.
Out of the 20 million people that will contract a new STD this year about half of them will be between the ages of 15 and 24. Half of those, according to the CDC, will not even know that they have contracted an STD such as chlamydia or cancer causing HPV.
Regular testing and proper education is what this country needs. Abstinence only simply doesn't work and proper testing facilities and availability to doctors is imperative if we want to make this number go down instead of continually moving upwards.
It's so important that we expand medicaid to those who need it and fill in the gaps in coverage across the US. When more people have access to regular healthcare they will be tested more often and we will see a decrease in STD rates as time moves on.