Illinois: Syphilis Infection Rate for Gay and Bisexual Men on the Rise
April 3, 2006
New preliminary data from the Chicago Department of Public Health show that primary and secondary syphilis cases increased in 2005, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM). The increase, the second in five years, reverses a downward syphilis trend first observed in 2002, said DPH.
The city's 412 reported cases of infectious syphilis represent a 39 percent increase over 2004 figures. Among the documented cases, almost three-quarters were within the MSM community, a 54 percent increase over 2004. More than half the MSM syphilis cases in 2005 were co-infected with HIV.
"It is essential that persons at risk be tested for syphilis, as it can only be cured with a timely diagnosis and antibiotic treatment," said Dr. William Wong, medical director of DPH's STD/HIV prevention and care program.
DPH is recommending sexually active MSM screen for syphilis twice annually as part of a routine sexual health check-up. Sexually active HIV-positive MSM should be tested every three months during primary health care visits.
Windy City Times (Chicago)
03.29.06; Andrew Davis
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.