Helena Lawmaker Proposes State Funding For STD Prevention - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Helena Lawmaker Proposes State Funding For STD Prevention

Posted: Updated:
By ALISON NOON
Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Representatives are considering whether to appropriate state funds to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Democratic Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, of Helena, introduced House Bill 597 in the House Appropriations Committee on Monday. The proposal would provide $100,000 a year to the Department of Public Health and Human Services to educate and test people for STDs.

Jim Murphy with the health department says the federal government provides the state's only funding for STD prevention, which totals about $1.9 million annually.

Montana's rates of STDs are well below the national average, but the occurrence of gonorrhea in the state has quadrupled since 2012, according to health department data.

Supporters of the proposal correlated an overall uptick in STDs to the influx of jobs at Montana's oil-rich Bakken region, but Murphy says it's more concentrated around tribal reservations.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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