April 1, 2013
April is STD Awareness Month
A recent CDC analysis estimates there are nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections in the United States each year, costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone. Because these infections are preventable, significant reductions in new infections are not only possible, they are urgently needed. Prevention can minimize the negative, long-term consequences of STIs and also reduce healthcare costs.
This STD Awareness Month, CDC’s Division of STD Prevention is calling on individuals, doctors, and community-based organizations to focus on promoting prevention.Information and resources for STD Awareness Month outreach activities are available at CDC’s STD Awareness Month Site.
2013 Commemoration of the Presidential Apology for the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study
The Commemoration of the Presidential apology for the USPHS Syphilis Study generally referred to as the “Tuskegee Study,” will be held at Tuskegee University April 2-5, 2013. Conducted by the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care (NCBRHC), this year’s event focuses on the theme: “From a Dream to a Vision: An Ethical Journey” and also pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Jo Valentine, MSW, the Associate Director for Health Equity in the Division of STD Prevention, shared her thoughts on the Commemoration and the partnership between CDC and the NCBRHC:
“Certainly, the Commemoration is about remembering what happened and honoring the men who were the victims of the Tuskegee Study. It is equally important that we honor their legacy by building an empowering and enduring tribute to these men, their families, and their communities. Rather than just reexamining what went wrong, we want to also focus on the lessons learned ensuring that these kinds of tragedies do not happen again. It would be easy to talk about the men of the Tuskegee experiment as victims of researchers and institutions, but the aim of the Commemoration is to also show how people have become empowered to take positive action, to be health promoters and protectors of their communities.”
While DSTDP works closely with Tuskegee University, this cooperative agreement also involves the CDC Public Health Ethics Unit and The Office of the Associate Director for Science. A joint CDC-NCBRHC internship program was also created, which allows public health students from Tuskegee University to work at CDC on projects in disadvantaged communities using a public health ethics framework.
New Online Data Training Module
CDC’s Division of STD Prevention has developed the Self-directed and STD-focused SAS Instruction, or SASSI. SASSI teaches users to create data sets, perform quality assurance, and create tables and charts to display data. Using SASSI is beneficial to STD program staff, as it allows them to effectively manage and analyze data using SAS training modules.
The most common users of this software are surveillance staff, epidemiologists, and medical epidemiologists in STD programs. However, anyone who has an interest can learn from the SASSI training modules.