Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Syphilis Rising in Men Who Have Sex with Men

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Syphilis Rising in Men Who Have Sex with Men

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- The overall incidence of syphilis has been dropping in the United States since the mid 1990s, but a syphilis epidemic is raging among men who have sex with men.

Several factors appear to be driving this epidemic, the most notable of which has been an increase in unprotected sex between men who are infected with HIV, Matthew Golden, M.D., said at the annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Based on data collected in Seattle and King County, Wash., men who are HIV positive are often having unprotected sex with other HIV-positive men. The rate of unprotected sex rose from 32% in 1994 to 45% in 2004. The percentage of HIV-positive men who have sex with men who said they had more than two sex partners in the preceding 2 months rose from 25% in 1993 to 39% in 2004. These factors may help explain why the incidence of syphilis among HIV-positive men who have sex with men soared from about 55 cases/100,000 people in Seattle and King County in 1997 to a projected incidence of nearly 1,200/100,000 people in 2004, reported Dr. …

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