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STD Program Activity in State Policy Processes, 1995 and 2000

Meyerson, Beth E. MDiv, PhD*; Chu, Bong-Chul MHA, PhD*; Raphael, Theresa L. MPH

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: August 2003 - Volume 30 - Issue 8 - p 614-619
doi: 10.1097/01.OLQ.0000085182.97442.75

Background Generating state policy support for sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention is crucial; however, little is known about policy activity by STD programs.

Goals The goals of the study were to identify state-level policy behaviors by state STD programs and to examine the association between policy behavior and selected state characteristics.

Study Design Information was gathered through a survey of STD directors in 2001. Policy activities were recalled for 1995 and 2000 and compared with several state characteristics.

Results A majority of state STD programs reported at least one policy behavior in the state policy process for 1995 and for 2000. An increase was observed with the provision of state legislative testimony, participation in STD coalitions, and dissemination of information to policy-makers by STD programs.

Conclusion Reported policy activity may be evidence of an emerging environment enabling state STD directors to engage in public policy activity. An opportunity exists to improve state and local support for STD prevention.

A study of state STD program policy behavior found that a majority of programs reported state policy engagement for 1995 and 2000. STD programs increased involvement with information dissemination, coalitions, and legislative testimony.

*Policy Resource Group, LLC, Warrenton, Missouri; and National Coalition of STD Directors, Washington, D.C.

The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Richard Crosby of Emory University for advising them on the construction of this article.

Suggested MeSH headings: Health Policy, Public Health Administration, Public Health Practice, Political Activity, Public Policy, Public Sector, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, State Governments.

Funding for this project was provided in part by the National Coalition of STD Directors, Washington, D.C.

Reprint requests: Dr. Beth Meyerson, Policy Resource Group, LLC, via e-mail at

Received November 6, 2002,

revised February 13, 2003, and accepted February 18, 2003.

© Copyright 2003 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association