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L.A. Syphilis Outbreak Continues

Forty-One Cases Involve HIV-Positive Men

May 2000

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

The number of cases of syphilis infection in L.A. County continues to climb at a startling rate, and efforts to control the spread of the disease by county officials and community organizations are stepping up.

"Seventy-seven cases of syphilis have been linked to the outbreak," said Peter R. Kerndt, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Los Angeles County Sexually Transmitted Disease Program. Kerndt provided figures on April 25, shortly before this issue of Positive Living went to press.

Free screenings for syphilis at bathhouses and sex clubs are continuing. "We're going to try to keep them going as long as we can," said Kerndt. "There's so much treatable STD out there. I think we need to make it as easy as possible for people to get tested and to get treatment."

For comprehensive testing information in English and Spanish, individuals may call (800) 758-0880. Individuals can also check the Department of Health Services web site, http://phps.dhs.co.la.ca.us/std.

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A county-wide media campaign to increase syphilis awareness is expected to be launched in May. Kerndt said that 900,000 condoms had been purchased and will be distributed.

The 77 syphilis cases reported to the STD program have the following characteristics:

  • Forty-one of the 77 cases have been reported among men who are HIV-infected.

  • Thirty-two cases among Latino men have been reported. Thirty cases in the Caucasian population have been identified; and 10 cases among African-Americans. Three cases have been reported in the Asian community.

  • The reported cases range from age 20 to age 52, with the median age being 36.

  • Twelve cases have been identified in the county jail system.

According to the Department of Health Services, the current outbreak involves primarily individuals in Hollywood and West Hollywood. Cases in Silver Lake and Long Beach are also known.

For further news on the syphilis outbreak, see upcoming issues of Positive Living.


This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.
 
See Also
HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)
More Statistics on Gay Men, HIV/AIDS and Other STDs in the U.S.

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