Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homosexual Men Account for 65 Percent of Syphilis Cases, CDC Study Finds

Thursday, January 15, 2009
By Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor

( - The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says homosexual men accounted for 65 percent of the nearly 12,000 cases of syphilis in the United States in 2007, making them the “primary driver” of increased syphilis rates overall.

In a report on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) issued Tuesday, the government said syphilis, a disease that was almost eliminated as a public health threat less than 10 years ago, is on the rise -- with cases increasing each year since 2000.

It remained a serious health threat in the United States in 2007, the latest year for which statistics are available, largely because of increased transmission among “men who have sex with men” (MSM) in the United States, according to the CDC.

Dr. Gary Rose, president of the Texas-based Medical Institute for Sexual Health, told that there are several factors behind the rise.

“One of the problems for men who have sex with men is that their sexual encounters are frequently anonymous,” Rose said. “The more partners you have, the higher the risk of transmission for any sexually transmitted infections.”

Rose said the government has spent a lot of time and money promoting condoms among men who have sex with men.

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