CDC Reports Syphilis is Increasing in Homosexual and Bisexual Men

First Posted: May 08, 2014 07:02 PM EDT

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, syphilis cases among gay and bisexual adults in the United States is on the rise after the disease was nearly eliminated more than a decade ago.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that begins as a sore resembling an ingrown hair or zipper cut. The disease then progresses into a non-itchy body rash that can spread to a few places or all over your body. If not properly treated, syphilis can have very serious complications and even result in death.

On Thursday the CDC released a federal study on syphilis and the various groups of people that it affects across the United States. The study examined data from the Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) between 2005 and 2013. The data included patient demographics as well as the stage of syphilis they had.

The results found that more prevention measures are needed for gay and bisexual men, or men who have sex with men (MSM), as the report says. Throughout the study period, syphilis cases nearly doubled from 8,724 to 16,663, increasing the annual rate from 2.9 cases per 100,000 people to 5.3 cases. Men accounted for 91.1% of all syphilis cases, with increases among African-American, Hispanic, and white men.

The majority of these cases were documented in homosexual and bisexual men. In 2012, 84% of men diagnosed with syphilis reported having sex with the same sex. The western region of the United States had the highest rate of the disease, which featured 6.5 cases per 100,000. Although these numbers are alarming, the disease can easy be prevented and treated.

It's important to wear protection when engaging in intercourse, and if you happen to have unprotected sex, doctor's recommend getting screened for sexually transmitted diseases/infections. Just like any other illness, someone can be infected without showing any symptoms, which is how further infections occur.

And since modern culture suggests that we will not remain celibate or limit ourselves to one sexual partner as often as doctor's suggest, wearing protection and getting tested are likely the two most effective ways to prevent syphilis and other diseases/infections.

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