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Posts Tagged ‘syphilis’

Risky Sex Returns Syphilis To Europe

Posted by Job on December 22, 2007

Original link here. Risky Sex Returns Syphilis to Europe By MARIA CHENG

LONDON (AP) — Syphilis is back: The sexually transmitted disease long associated with 19th Century bohemian life is making an alarming resurgence in Europe.

“Syphilis used to be a very rare disease,” said Dr. Marita van de Laar, an expert in sexually transmitted diseases at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. “I’m not sure we can say that anymore.”

Most cases of syphilis are in men, and experts point to more risky sex among gay men as the chief cause for the resurgence. But more cases are being seen among heterosexuals, both men and women, too.

Syphilis was the sexual scourge of the 19th Century, and is believed to have killed artists like poet Charles Baudelaire, composer Robert Schumann, and painter Paul Gauguin. But the widespread use of penicillin in the 1950s all but wiped it out in the Western world.

In the last decade, however, syphilis has unexpectedly returned, driven by risky sexual behavior and outbreaks in major cities across Europe, including London, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin.

_ In Britain, syphilis cases have leapt more than tenfold for men and women in the past decade to 3,702 in 2006, according to the Health Protection Agency. Among men in England, the syphilis rate jumped from one per 100,000 in 1997 to nine per 100,000 last year.

_ In Germany, the rate among men was fewer than two per 100,000 in 1991; by 2003, it was six per 100,000.

_ In France, there were 428 cases in 2003 — almost 16 times the number just three years earlier.

_ In the Netherlands, cases doubled from 2000 to 2004. In Amsterdam, up to 31 men per 100,000 were infected, while the rate was much lower in other regions.

Similar trends have been seen in the United States.

In 2000, syphilis infection rates were so low that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention embarked on a plan to eliminate the disease. But about 9,800 cases were reported in 2006.

In Europe, Van de Laar said syphilis’ reappearance was so surprising that many doctors initially had trouble diagnosing it.

Though these days it mainly affects urban gay men, experts worry that the disease could also rebound in the general population if stronger efforts to fight it are not taken soon.

In 2005, British authorities reported that syphilis was spreading across the entire country, and that more heterosexual men and women were being infected.

“These increases may lead to increases in diagnoses of congenital syphilis over the coming years,” said Kate Swan, a spokeswoman for the Health Protection Agency.

Pregnant women with syphilis can pass it on to their babies. Nearly half of all babies infected with syphilis while they are in the womb die shortly before or after birth.

Syphilis is a bacterial disease causing symptoms that include ulcers, sores and rashes. In extreme cases, it can result in dementia or fatally damage the heart, respiratory and central nervous systems. Syphilis is treatable with antibiotics if caught early.

Once there are more than just a few isolated cases, containing the disease is difficult.

Advances made in treating AIDS may have inadvertently boosted syphilis’ spread.

“The evidence points to an increase in unsafe sexual behavior since anti-retrovirals for AIDS came along in 1996,” said van de Laar.

After decades of being instructed to use condoms and to limit the number of sexual partners, some people are probably suffering from “safe sex fatigue,” van de Laar said. The Internet has also allowed people to find sexual partners more easily than before, and some experts link the rise of dating Web sites to the jump in syphilis cases.

For some men, the Internet connections can be especially dangerous.

“Networks of HIV-positive men to find other positive men have sprung up on the Internet,” said Jonathan Elford, an AIDS epidemiologist at London’s City University.

Some men who have the AIDS virus are seeking condom-free sex with other men who are also HIV-infected. However, they aren’t protected against syphilis and other sexually spread diseases. Among gay men who have syphilis in Britain, nearly half have HIV, Elford said.

Amid this resurgence, some officials are now attacking the epidemic online.

Every day, health workers at the Terrence Higgins Trust, Europe’s largest AIDS charity, log into chatrooms on a popular British gay dating Web site to spread safe sex messages and answer questions.

“We know that men are arranging hook-ups for sex online,” said Mark Thompson, the charity’s deputy head of health promotion. “So we decided to tap into cyberspace to try reaching them before unsafe sex might happen.”

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Posted in adultery, AIDS, Christianity, EU, gay rights, homosexuality, pornea, sex demon, sexual exploitation, social breakdown, societal decline, sodomy | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Record Number Of Sexually Transmitted Disease Cases Last Year

Posted by Job on November 13, 2007

Of course, they do not tell us WHY this is happening. http://news.aol.com/health/story/_a/record-number-of-std-cases-last-year/20071113143409990001

By MIKE STOBBE,AP

ATLANTA (Nov. 13) – More than 1 million cases of chlamydia were reported in the United States last year – the most ever reported for a sexually transmitted disease, federal health officials said Tuesday.

“A new U.S. record,” said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More bad news: Gonorrhea rates are jumping again after hitting a record low, and an increasing number of cases are caused by a “superbug” version resistant to common antibiotics, federal officials said Tuesday.

Syphilis is rising, too. The rate of congenital syphilis – which can deform or kill babies – rose for the first time in 15 years.

“Hopefully we will not see this turn into a trend,” said Dr. Khalil Ghanem, an infectious diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University’s School of medicine.

The CDC releases a report each year on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, three diseases caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.

Chlamydia is the most common. Nearly 1,031,000 cases were reported last year, up from 976,000 the year before.

The count broke the single-year record for reported cases of a sexually transmitted disease, which was 1,013,436 cases of gonorrhea, set in 1978.

Putting those numbers into rates, there were about 349 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people in 2006, up 5.6 percent from the 329 per 100,000 rate in 2005.

CDC officials say the chlamydia record may not be all bad news: They think the higher number is largely a result of better and more intensive screening.

Since 1993, the CDC has recommended annual screening in sexually active women ages 15 to 25. Meanwhile, urine and swab tests for the bacteria are getting better and are used more often, for men as well as women, said Douglas, director of the CDC’s Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention.

About three-quarters of women infected with chlamydia have no symptoms. Left untreated, the infection can spread and ultimately can lead to infertility. It’s easily treated if caught early.

Health officials believe as many as 2.8 million new cases may actually be occurring each year, he added.

Chlamydia infection rates are more than seven times higher in black women then whites, and more than twice as high in black women than Hispanics. But it’s a risk women of all races should consider, CDC officials said.

“If (health care) providers think young women in their practice don’t have chlamydia, they should think again,” said Dr. Stuart Berman, a CDC epidemiologist.

The gonorrhea story is somewhat different.

In 2004, the nation’s gonorrhea rate fell to 112.4 cases per 100,000 people in 2004, the lowest level since the government started tracking cases in 1941.

But since then, health officials have seen two consecutive years of increases. The 2006 rate – about 121 per 100,000 – represents a 5.5 percent increase from 2005.

Health officials don’t know exactly how many superbug cases there were among the more than 358,000 gonorrhea cases reported in 2006. But a surveillance project of 28 cities found that 14 percent were resistant to ciprofloxacin and other medicines in the fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics.

Similar samples found that 9 percent were resistant to those antibiotics in 2005, and 7 percent were resistant in 2004. The appearance of the superbug has been previously reported, and the CDC is April advised doctors to stop using those drugs against gonorrhea.

Douglas said it doesn’t look like the superbugs are the reason for gonorrhea’s escalating numbers overall, but they’re not sure what is driving the increase.

Other doctors are worried. The superbug gonorrhea has been on the rise not only in California and Hawaii, where the problem has been most noticeable, but also in the South and parts of the Midwest.

“Suddenly we’re starting to see the spread,” Ghanem said.

Syphilis, a potentially deadly disease that first shows up as genital sores, has become relatively rare in the United States. About 9,800 cases of the most contagious forms or syphilis were reported in 2006, up from about 8,700 in 2005.

The rate rose from 2.9 cases per 100,000 people to 3.3, a 14 percent increase.

For congenital syphilis, in which babies get syphilis from their mothers, the rate rose only slightly from the previous year to 8.5 cases per 100,000 live births.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

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