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Officials look to make STD testing more available for seniors

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Caring for sexually transmitted disease can be significantly less expensive when they are diagnosed early. Additionally, the costs can be reduced even further if infections are avoided altogether.

To this end, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is considering adding a number of new STD tests to the list of procedures that would be covered under government-funded Medicare health insurance plans, according to Reuters.

Officials are considering adding hepatitis B and syphilis testing to its coverage. The program already covers testing for HIV. They are also weighing whether to add sexual health counseling to the program.

The move comes as Americans are living longer and the burden of disease weighs heavier on individuals. Additionally, the news source said that previous studies have found that older adults are remaining sexually active well into their seniors in higher numbers than ever before. This could result in the spread of diseases among populations that aren't generally targeted by preventative programs.

The move could satisfy officials from other government agencies, as representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that STD testing is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of disease.

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