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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
State health officials in Utah are urging more STD testing, as new public health data indicate that the rate of syphilis is increasing. Testing and education are seen as central approaches to bringing rates back down.
The state recently received the final report on its Healthy People 2010 goals, the nationwide effort to encourage healthy lifestyles and improve public health. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that syphilis rates were much than in previous years.
The number of cases increased from 33 in 2009 to 65 in 2010, a 94 percent increase from one year to the next. The state is actually doing well when it comes to preventing gonorrhea, which has a lower incidence rate than the state's target level.
However, officials told the news source that the number of new syphilis cases is alarming and calls for renewed efforts to prevent the spread of the infection. They said that the majority of cases involve men who have sex with men. They plan to focus their prevention efforts on incarcerated populations and those living in substance abuse rehabilitation centers.
The findings reflect national trends. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 2000 to 2006 national syphilis rates increased 2.6 percent and 5.7 percent among men and women, respectively. Men who have sex with men accounted for 64 percent of all new positive STD tests.
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