Syphilis rates soar 134% among homosexual black men, fall among general population
WASHINGTON, DC, November 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The U.S. Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) most recent data on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases reveals that among homosexual black men the syphilis rates rose a staggering 134% between 2009 and 2010. During the same time frame, syphilis rates among the general population fell by 1.6%.
CDC data “show a significant increase in syphilis among young black men who have sex with men (MSM), suggesting that new infections among MSM are driving the increase in young black men,” the CDC report stated. “The finding is particularly concerning as there has also been a sharp increase in HIV infections among this population.”
The CDC has estimated that practicing homosexual men account for 61% of the new HIV infections in the United States, driven by an alarming increase in new infections among young black homosexual men - a 48 percent increase in the period of 2006-2009.
“Studies suggest that people with gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis are at increased risk for HIV,” the CDC report concludes. “Given the increase in both syphilis and HIV among young black gay and bisexual men, it is particularly urgent to diagnose and treat both diseases.”
The recent CDC report titled “STD Trends in the United States: 2010 National Data for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis” noted that “there are 19 million new STD infections every year in the United States, costing the health care system $17 billion every year, and costing infected individuals even more in immediate and life-long health consequences.”
In addition to syphilis rates, the CDC’s report includes data on gonorrhea and chlamydia.
The report says that the rate of chlamydia infections has been increasing steadily over the past 20 years, with 1.3 million new cases reported in 2010. “The increase is due to expanded screening efforts, and not to an actual increase in the number of people with chlamydia,” the study says, noting however that, “a majority of infections still go undiagnosed.”
The report states that rates of gonorrhea “are at historically low levels” with only a slight increase from 2009 levels. “Cases increased slightly from last year and more than 300,000 cases were reported in 2010.”
However, the report raises the alarming spectre that gonorrhea is becoming resistant to treatment. “There are also signs from other CDC surveillance systems that the disease may become resistant to the only available treatment option,” the report warns.
The CDC points out that the long-lasting health effects of STD infection are particularly serious for young people, who, although representing only 25% of sexually active people in the US, account for nearly half of new STD cases.
“Untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia can silently steal a young woman’s chance to have her own children later in life. Each year, untreated STDs cause at least 24,000 women in the U.S. to become infertile,” the report states.
For more information visit the CDC website here.