The spectrum of agencies and organizations involved in STD prevention and the controversial nature of STD-related programs require that the proposed Campaign be nonpartisan and independent, especially from special interests and political constraints. The Campaign's work would be developed by its participants, and it is the committee's hope that the Campaign will use this report as a blueprint for its initial efforts.
Therefore, the committee makes the following recommendation:
- An independent, long-term, national Campaign should be established to serve as a catalyst for social change toward a new norm of healthy sexual behavior in the United States. This Campaign should:
- provide new, highly visible leadership to promote healthy sexual behaviors and the implementation of a national system for STD prevention;
- promote public discussion and awareness of healthy sexual behaviors and STDs among all population groups;
- provide assistance to local community efforts to promote a new norm of healthy sexual behavior;
- advocate for additional public and private investment in STD prevention;
- work collaboratively with existing campaigns and other activities to prevent HIV infection, unintended pregnancy, and STD-associated cancers;
- include nationally recognized public opinion leaders such as entertainment industry representatives, sports figures, business and labor leaders, elected officials and other policymakers, and mass media executives as members;
- represent the spectrum of perspectives on STDs and sexual health issues; and
- be funded by a broad range of sponsors, including private foundations, private sector health plans, the biomedical industry, employers, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Campaign should be funded primarily by a coalition of private foundations with an interest in STDs; these foundations should provide leadership for initiating and maintaining the Campaign and provide "seed" money to establish it.
Promoting Knowledge and Awareness
As shown in Chapter 2, the scope of STDs and their consequences is broad. STDs infect all population groups in the United States. They can cause health problems for all infected persons, but the complications are most severe for women and their infants. Surveys cited in Chapter 3 show that there is little recognition of the spectrum of health consequences of STDs. In particular, the contribution of STDs to severe health complications, such as genital and liver cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, chronic liver