Medicare may soon cover STD testing

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Your tax dollars may soon go towards checking grandma for gonorrhea. It turns out U.S. health officials are considering including testing for sexually transmitted diseases for the elderly and disabled covered under Medicare. A draft decision is expected to be made August 27th. 

It's nice to hear some potentially positive news regarding sexual health, even if it primarily focuses on a demographic we don't necessarily want to imagine having sex. Still, STD rates are staggeringly high among senior citizens so any preventative measures to curb that are probably a good thing.

If passed, here's what the initiative will include testing for:

  • chlamydial infection for sexually active or pregnant women aged twenty-four and younger and for older, sexually active or pregnant women at higher risk

  • gonorrhea infection in all sexually active or pregnant women if they are at increased risk

  • hepatitis B virus infection in pregnant women

  • syphilis infection for all those at increased risk

  • high-intensity behavioral counseling to prevent infection for sexually active adolescents and for adults at greater risk