California, U.S. Scaling Back on STI Screening, Prevention Programs
Along with most regions of the country, California is experiencing a sharp drop in funding for programs that aim to curb the spread of sexually transmitted infections, Payers & Providers reports.
Nationwide, about two-thirds of STI programs faced budget cuts between 2008 and 2009, according to a new report from the National Coalition of STD Directors.
At the same time, California cut its Department of Public Health funding by about 10% during the past fiscal year. The state's funding from CDC has remained stagnant at about $2.6 million since 2000.
The financial crunch has led DPH to reduce staffing numbers in its STI division from 117 to 77 employees. The division currently employs 26 front-line disease intervention workers, compared with 62 earlier in the decade.
The department also has cut back on the $1.8 million in funding it typically distributes each year to California's 58 counties. As a result, many counties have had to reduce services and close some clinics.Officials are expressing concern that continued cutbacks could lead to a surge in STI prevalence, which could contribute to more serious health problems for Californians down the road (Payers & Providers, 12/3). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.