Increase in Syphilis Cases

With the increase use of condoms, syphilis was once thought to be on the brink of eradication but current evidence shows it might be on the rise.


The sexually transmitted disease known for ravaging figures from Al Capone to Charles VIII of France is staging what public health officials call an astronomical comeback: Cases of syphilis in Multnomah County have increased tenfold in the past five years. Public health officials thought they were once on the brink of eradicating the venereal disease that—until the 1970s—was the dominant infectious danger of having sex without a condom. Reports of syphilis in the county have jumped from 22 in 2008 to 208 last year. While the numbers seem relatively low—the county has a population of 748,000—the increase in the Portland area is far steeper than in most U.S. cities. And here’s what is even more worrisome for public health officials: Virtually all cases involve men who have sex with other men. “I’ve seen more syphilis in the past two years than I have in the last 20 years,” says Mary O’Hearn, clinical director of the HIV clinic at Oregon Health & Science University. “This is really something quite out of the ordinary.”

Regardless of sexual preference, this is a great example of why it is important to wrap it up during any non-monogamous sexual encounter.  We here at Condom Depot will continue to monitor this increase of syphilis and will report with more details.


[Source – Willamette Weekly]


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