federal health agencies with activities in this area. The Secretary needs to charge these agencies to develop and implement the public sector components of the proposed national system and to provide these agencies with sufficient resources to do so. From a technical expertise and program implementation perspective, the CDC is the appropriate agency to provide national leadership in many aspects of STD prevention. The leadership of the Department of Health and Human Services, especially the CDC, must give higher priority to STD prevention programs. For example, in its fiscal year 1997 budget proposal to Congress,2 the administration requested reduced funding for STD prevention at a time when the CDC lacks the capacity to adequately provide technical assistance to states. Other health agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Health Care Financing Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Indian Health Service, also need to assume leadership roles in their areas of responsibility. The Department of Health and Human Services needs to ensure that the agencies within its purview collaboratively provide bold innovative standards, guidance, technical assistance, and resources to state and local health departments and appropriate community-based organizations.
Therefore, the committee makes the following recommendation: