Health department announces syphilis spike

Published: November 19, 2014

Alex Zimmerman
Original Article:

The Allegheny County Health Department this morning announced a "significant" increase in syphilis across the county, particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM).

There were 98 cases reported this year as of Nov. 10, a 75 percent increase from the same period last year. Ninety percent of reported infections were in men.

"There has been a resurgence of syphilis in the United States since 2011, with increases noted particularly among MSM," department director Karen Hacker wrote in a press release. "While infections nationwide and in Allegheny County are primarily occurring among MSM, anyone engaging in risky sexual behavior is at risk."

The department recommends "all sexually active men and women to follow safer sexual practices — reduce the number of sex partners, use latex condoms, and have a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has negative test results for STDs."

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