WASHINGTON – Recently, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) introduced the Equity in STD Testing Bill, legislation that would make certain tests for sexually-transmitted diseases free of charge. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) is co-leading introduction of the bill with Congressman Bennie Thompson (MS-2) and Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15) serving as co-sponsors.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus said:
“For years I worked on the frontline bringing sexual healthcare to those who need it most. Far too often, those people were already excluded from our healthcare system. My Equity in STD Testing Bill will ensure that everyone can access STD testing. This is one step toward creating a more just and equitable healthcare system and I won’t keep fighting until there are no barriers to essential healthcare, including STD testing.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) said:
“We must equip our communities with equitable, affordable, and accessible STI testing and sexual health resources. For too long, many sex education programs and sexual health services have been inaccessible or failed to meet the needs of young people who are LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, or from other communities of color. This legislation tears down barriers to equitable health care and ensures that we invest in safe, accessible sexual health services for everyone. Rep. Nikema Williams and I won’t stop working until this bill gets across the finish line.”
The Equity in STD Testing Bill is endorsed by numerous organizations including: AID Atlanta, the Feminist Women’s Health Center, Latino Commission on AIDS, the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, Empowerment Resource Center, Jerusalem House, AIDs United, CHLP – Center for HIV Law & Policy, AIDS Foundation Chicago, and the HIV Medicine Association.
Kwajelyn J. Jackson, Executive Director of the Feminist Women’s Health Center said:
“Feminist Women’s Health Center is thrilled to support the Equity in STD Testing Bill. According to the CDC, Georgia has some of the highest rates of reported STDs in the country and is among the top five states for new HIV diagnoses. We believe that everyone deserves access to STD testing and treatment without the burden of cost-sharing so that we can make empowered and informed decisions about our own bodies and health. We are grateful for the leadership of Congresswoman Williams who continues to champion the full vision of reproductive justice for the nation and the South.”
Nicole Roebuck, Executive Director of AID Atlanta Inc., said:
“As a community based organization that serves thousands in need of free STD testing and treatment we are very aware of the public health benefits that equitable access to STD testing will provide through this bill. Early, easy and equitable access will allow for early treatment to be sought, which will help to reduce the spread of STI infections in our communities. AID Atlanta and AHF are in full support.”
Click here for the text of the Equity in STD Testing Bill.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap, and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.