Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's baaack...

Last month a friend called and asked for a quick consult on STI testing. I ran down a list of STIs I thought were relevant: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, and herpes, HPV if insurance covered the more expensive and slightly more accurate test. "What about syphilis?" my friend asked, and I felt a little silly for having left it off the list, but (despite the outbreak in season two of Grey's Anatomy) rates of syphilis dropped enormously over the course of the 20th century, and generally speaking it's not something many people need to worry about.

But according to this Washington Post article, rates have been on the rise again in the past three years in Virginia and DC. The article alludes to outbreaks occurring in the gay male community, but the jump in numbers is alarming no matter who you're sleeping with: in the District, it went from a record low 38 reported cases in 2003 to 115 cases in 2006.

Much more info in the CDC Syphilis Fact sheet.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big time syphillis outbreaks in Baltimore, DC, Philly, NYC, San Fran, and Houston. Really big. Ignorance is the beginning of the route to infection...

Angela said...

My google alert sent me the link to this post... so I thought I would pop over and say hello.

I also wanted to add to the discussion and say that not all STDs are included in the routine STD testing process.

People always assume that when they are going in to be treated for STDs that they are being checked for everything when in reality they are not...

I have a web site that has a list of all the stuff docs should be checking you for but don't. (yoshi2me.com)

Anyway, nice blog and I'm sure I'll see you around. :)

Amanda Holloway is said...

Anon., I have to admit I'm surprised at the climbing rates. Maybe patients and health care workers thought (like I did) that it was nothing to worry about and got complacent?

Thanks for stopping by, Angela! You've got some great info on your website.

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