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Syphilis rates rise, particularly among high-risk groups

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Syphilis rates rise, particularly among high-risk groups   After nearly being eradicated years ago, many more people are receiving positive syphilis tests, and experts say that public health efforts need to refocus in order to deal with the spread of this infection.

The Seattle Times recently reported that 283 residents of Washington received positive syphilis tests in 2010, which is the most in nearly 30 years. The number is an 82 percent increase from the previous two years.

The symptoms of the infections are often mistaken for other diseases, which contributes has contributed to its spread.

Matthew Golden, director of HIV and STD programs for the King County Department of Public Health, told the news source that the symptoms of the disease can be extremely difficult for healthcare providers to spot. For this reason, they should focus on providing syphilis tests to individuals who are in high-risk groups.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans and men who have sex with men are much more likely to be infected with syphilis than any other demographic.

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