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Resolution HHS-18-28

A RESOLUTION URGING STATES TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO VOLUNTARY SCREENING FOR HIV AND STIS

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 20,000,000 new sexually transmitted infections (STIS) occur each year in the United States and that over 1,200,000 people in the United States are living with HIV;

WHEREAS, many common long-term and initially asymptomatic STIs remain undiagnosed, or diagnosed at later stages, leading to increased rates of mortality, morbidity, disability, and transmission;

WHEREAS, 166,000 people living in the United States are unaware of their HIV status and 30 percent of new HIV infections are transmitted by people are living with undiagnosed HIV;

WHEREAS, although African-Americans account for about 13 percent of the United States population, they account for nearly half of all HIV/AIDS cases and other STIs and have a higher incidence of mortality and morbidity for HIV/AIDS and most STIs; 

WHEREAS, African American women who have sex with men account for the majority of the HIV/AIDS infections among all women;

WHEREAS, a lack of insurance, limited time, cost and resources in medical settings, stigma and lack of accurate information among communities and providers contribute to inadequate screening for HIV/AIDS and other STIs;

WHEREAS, health equity and disparities remain a significant public health challenge with the burden of HIV/ AIDS and other STIs falling disproportionately on certain populations;

WHEREAS, there is a need for better education and training among health care providers on the incidence of HIV/AIDS and other STIs in the communities they serve and on the most effective ways to promote routine screening for patients with HIV/AIDS and other STIs and then to treat those patients; and

WHEREAS, there is a need for increased awareness of accurate and up-to-date information among health care providers and the public to ensure access to and utilization of quality health care services that promote early detection and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other STIs and that prevent these diseases.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) recognizes that HIV/AIDS and other STIs significantly and disproportionately impact the communities served by NBCSL legislators and that increased access to, and quality and affordability of, voluntary and medically appropriate screening is critical to protecting the health of these communities;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NBCSL urges state legislatures and departments of health to take the steps necessary to improve access to, and quality and affordability of, routine screenings for HIV/AIDS and other STIs by all communities, as well as to use of all screening and treatment services by all communities;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NBCSL urges state legislatures and departments of health to facilitate the collection and analysis of data pertaining to access to, and quality and affordability of, routine screenings for HIV/AIDS and other STIs, as well as utilization of available screening and treatment services for HIV/AIDS and other STIs by all communities;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NBCSL urges state legislatures, medical and nursing schools, and health care licensing boards to require training and education on the importance of offering screenings for HIV/AIDS and other STIs as a routine part of health care;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NBCSL urges Congress and the Administration   address the health care disparities and inequalities related to the early detection, prevention, and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other STIs in certain communities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NBCSL send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, members of Congress, and other federal and state government officials as appropriate.

SPONSOR: Representative John Richard C. King (SC)
Committee of Jurisdiction: Health and Human Services Policy Committee
Certified by Committee Chair(s): Representative John Richard C. King (SC) and Representative Toni Rose (TX)
Ratified in Plenary Session: Ratification Date is December 2, 2017
Ratification is certified by: Representative Gregory W. Porter (IN), President
 
 
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