The rates of syphilis infections have been rising in the United States, but just among men, a medical study has stated. This study report comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reveals syphilis infections have grown by almost 12 percent in 2012. This is the latest year in which information is available. The report, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2012 was released to the health community on Tuesday. The syphilis upsurge was noticed only in males, and mostly men who classified themselves as being in the gay community in some way.
The CDC states that men who have sex with males have a higher chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases when paralleled to men who only have sex with females. The report shows that there is a disturbing growth in cases of syphilis in men who are gay or bisexual.
The study reports that gay sexual activity account for about 75 percent of all the approximately 15,660 primary and secondary syphilis cases that were reported back in 2012. The rate per 100,000 people has shown a definite increase since 2011. The federal agency also explained about this increase in syphilis connection and HIV infections. By having syphilis, it can also cause an individual to be a higher risk for acquiring or even transmitting the HIV infection. Reconnaissance information that has come in from many large American cities indicates that about four in 10 gay men who are suffering from syphilis are also found to have the HIV virus.
But unlike HIV, syphilis, if detected early enough, is easy to cure with antibiotics. It is associated with symptoms that include small, painless sores around the infected area or a rash might break out.
The CDC also took a look at young Americans between the ages of 15 and 24, and noticed this demographic group also stood out in their report because of chlamydia and gonorrhea. They assessed that around 20 million new STD infections are happening every year, with over half taking place in persons in this age group. The case rates of chlamydia stayed the same in 2012 but gonorrhea cases rose by nearly 5 percent. The individuals ended up accounting for almost 60 percent of the approximately 334,830 gonorrhea cases which were reported in 2012, while the same age group ended up being about seven out of 10 of the nearly 1,422,980 cases of chlamydia that were reported.
There was no data collected on the human papilloma virus or HPV, herpes simplex virus or trichomoniasis due to the fact that these types of STD infections are not normally reported to the CDC.
In the infection report, the CDC also went over the discussion of the economic burden which is caused by STD’s. These types of infections are quite a drain on the health care system, and the majority of people diagnosed do not have health insurance. The federal agency explains that these infections end up causing the United States almost $16 billion in various types of health care expenses each year. These rising syphilis rates are causing more than just health problems for men in the United States.
By Kimberly Ruble