Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise in the United States, mostly in men who have sex with men
The rate of new gonorrhea cases rose 4% in 2012 from the year before, while syphilis jumped 11%, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said in a report. Rates for chlamydia, the most common of the bacterial sexually transmitted diseases, gained less than 1%. The rise in syphilis is entirely attributable to men, particularly those who are gay or bisexual. The CDC rate for gonorrhea was 107.5 cases out of 100,000 in 2012, while syphilis was 5 cases per 100,000 people. Bacterial diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea make it easier for people to acquire serious viral infections, such as HIV. People ages 15 to 24 account for more than half of the annual cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia, the report showed. A November 2013 study from U.S. health officials found a 20% rise in unprotected sex among gay men, with sexual risk highest for those who haven’t been tested for HIV. An analysis of data by the CDC from 20 major U.S. cities found that the number of men who reported having unprotected anal sex in the past year rose in 2011 from 2005. Men who didn’t know they were HIV positive were more than twice as likely to have sex with someone who wasn’t infected, compared with those who knew their HIV status, the report found.