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Second, the 78 million-strong Generation Y is coming of age. Half their 1982-02 cohort is in their teens or young adulthood. Awaiting them in the great hook-up, cohabiting, MTV spring break, booty-call culture are at least 25 different STDs.

Federal spending on STDs last year was $1 billion, two-thirds of which targeted HIV/AIDS.

ASHA has an interactive graphic showing what states spend per capita on STD prevention. California, for instance, spends 15 cents per person fighting STDs. Maryland spends 11 cents. Louisiana leads the nation with $1.55 per capita, but many states, including President Obama’s home state of Illinois, spend less than one penny per person fighting STDs, ASHA’s graphic shows.

Does fighting STDs create jobs? Probably a few, but not that many.

But if Congress cares about reducing national health care costs and keeping workers healthy and productive, stuffing a little STD prevention money in the package might be a wise thing to do.

• E-mail Cheryl Wetzstein.