OTTAWA, December 10, 2002 ( – Despite a 20-year decline that saw Canada’s national syphilis rate drop to 0.5 cases per 100,000 population in the mid-1990s, the projected rate for 2002 will rebound to 1.1 infections.  Co-authors Dr. Erica Weir and Dr. David Fisman write in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association that most of the syphilis outbreaks have so far centred on the homosexual population. As a result, the infection rate among men aged 20 to 24 has increased almost fourfold over the past five years. Interestingly, cyberspace is cited as a popular method for homosexuals to contact potential anonymous partners.  The authors also attribute the syphilis rebound to a kind of sexual hubris that dispenses with “safe sex” practices. But they do not question the validity of the safe sex philosophy, long ridiculed by the pro-life movement as useless.  For National Post coverage use the search function at


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