Syphilis Strikes Back
Why Are We Talking About Syphilis in 2017?
Once nearing elimination, national data highlight that syphilis is thriving. In 2015, the United States experienced the highest number and rate of reported primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis cases in more than 20 years.
During 2014-2015, syphilis rates increased in every region, a majority of age groups, and across almost every race/ethnicity. Men in general, and gay and bisexual men specifically, continue to face the highest levels of syphilis. In recent years, syphilis has also risen among women. One of the most disturbing trends is back-to-back years of increasing rates among babies who were miscarried, stillborn, or born with syphilis, also known as congenital syphilis. An increase in reports where syphilis affects the eye (i.e., ocular syphilis) has also occurred across the U.S. These cases can, and have, led to permanent blindness.
Syphilis’s resurgence highlights its ability to affect many communities at anytime and anywhere. We cannot allow this to continue, so beginning this month, we encourage everyone to disrupt syphilis!