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CDC official: Gay men’s disease rates highest since 1980s HIV/AIDS outbreak

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Men who have sex with men face a syphilis infection rate at the highest it’s been since the 1980s, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official.

“We’re concerned about our high levels of syphilis among men who have sex with men – really we’re back to the level of disease – burden of disease – in gay men that we were seeing before HIV in this country,” said Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, at an event lobbying for federal funding to fight sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. The comments were reported by CNS News.

Some groups bear a disproportionate burden of STDs, according to a 2014 CDC fact sheet, and “While anyone can become infected with an STD, certain groups, including young people and gay and bisexual men, are at greatest risk.”

In a section of the fact sheet on the “Troubling rise in syphilis infections among men, particularly gay and bisexual men,” the CDC wrote, “Trend data show rates of syphilis are increasing at an alarming rate (15.1 percent in 2014). While rates have increased among both men and women, men account for more than 90 percent of all primary and secondary syphilis cases. Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for 83 percent of male cases where the sex of the sex partner is known.”

According to the CDC, “Having more sex partners compared to other men means gay and bisexual men have more opportunities to have sex with someone who can transmit HIV or another STD.”

In 2013, Vancouver Coastal Health and the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control said that levels of syphilis infections in homosexual and bisexual men were the highest they’d been in more than 30 years in the Vancouver area.  In 2015, the Public Health England also released a study indicating a sharp increase in syphilis and gonorrhea among gay men. 

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