Monday, June 2, 2008

Speaking to City Council

Tonight, I address City Council about Beautiful Flower and Penis's experience a few weeks ago at the Greene County Health Clinic.
Thank you for allowing me the time to speak.

I can best explain why I'm here by explaining the events that led up to it. Some friends and I run an internet show, the goal of which is to strike down the taboos on discussing sex. Three weeks ago, in the process of filming an episode on getting tested for STDs, we went to the Greene Co. Health Clinic and were turned away at 8:15am in the morning. The woman at the desk informed us that if we wanted to get in, we should get there a half an hour early.

Later that week, we complied. Upon arriving at 7:25am, we found three slips of papers with numbers 1 through 3 written on them set out by the check-in window. Believing they were just to keep things organized once the clinic opened, we took them and began filling out the paperwork. Shortly thereafter, a man walked in - two of us noticed that he was favoring his groin when he walked - and asked if any more numbers were available. The man had tried to get in before, but had not been able to. As it turns out, these numbers represented the only three slots available, not just a means of organizing things for the initial rush.

Over the next half hour, before the doors even opened, over 10 people arrived, many of which were likely there to be treated or tested for STDs. Now, all of us are almost certain that we are clean, having been tested before, so it was apparent to us that the needs of these people were much greater. We all elected to give our numbers to the people we thought needed them most, and left...even as more people were coming in.

Which is when I set up this appointment. I'm hear to ask that you find a way to allocate more resources to STD testing at the Green County Health Clinic. Aside from general human compassion and a clear excess of demand, there is also an economic case to be made for why you should do this.

My initial suspicion is that, like with anything else, preventative maintenance is far less costly than treating the developed problems that arise from allowing new infections to grow into something far more sinister. My suspicion is confirmed to be true by virtually every credible medical body in this country that has voiced an opinion on the subject. For instance, a study performed in 2004, as reported by the peer-review medical journal The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Vol. 158 indicated that keeping people from such testing would have serious health and economic consequences.

Another example comes from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. According the the USCDC, "untreated STDs result in billions of dollars in preventable healthcare spending." One example is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which is a frequent result of untreated Chlamydia. According to the USCDC, the annual cost of this disease is four billion dollars nationwide. This is one disease out of a long, long list that result of untreated STDs.

I could go on and on, but I'm only allowed five minutes, so I need to be wrapping this up.

While Aids Project of the Ozarks here in Springfield will perform HIV testing for free, the STIs that should worry us financially are the cureable ones, namely gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, trichomoniasis, scabies and crabs, of which syphillis, scabies, and crabs can be transmitted via skin-to-skin contact. These are the STIs that can be caught earlier and treated cheaply, and the cheapest way to get tested for them in this area is at Planned Parenthood for $110 per person.

For many of us, this puts us into a situation where we must choose whether to pay the rent of to get tested for STIs. The city has already taken steps towards fixing this problem by providing the testing, but they have not done enough. The liabilities for this are shared by everybody, including not only the citizens of Springfield, but by the city of Springfield itself. The only reasonable argument I can imagine for why you would not do everything in your power to fix this problem is if people would not use the services if they were made available, but clearly they would. Even with the diminished ability to get free testing, demand is still excessive, and it would only grow if the option to be responsible for no cost, or reduced cost, were made available. The people of Springfield clearly want to help the city keep the cost of treating full blown diseases resultant of undetected STDs down, and we only need you to give us the means.

Thank you very much for allowing me the time to speak. I am available via e-mail at john454@missouristate.edu if you have any questions or if you require any more of my research.

Ryan will be dressing up for this. If you knew Ryan, you'd realize what a rare occurance this is. He just asked me to help him button his shirt sleeves and I almost declined asking "Is this really the leader of the Revolution?"

To which Ryan responded "Shit, the Revolution begins by looking this good."

We're the Juggernauts, and we're bringing style back to fighting the good fight. :D

3 comments:

nisemono3.14 said...

JT -

You rocked tonight. Thank you again for speaking for us this evening.

- Amber

LA said...

I wish I could have been there to rock faces! Love you!

LA said...

And see you rock faces!
Exclamation points!!11!!!!1111