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Health Department: Substantial Increase In Syphilis Cases

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Allegheny County Health Department is responding to a new report that shows an unprecedented high for sexually transmitted diseases in the United States.

According to a press release, ACDH reported similar increases, but a particularly large increase in primary and secondary syphilis cases in 2015.

In 2014, Allegheny County reported a total of 68 primary and secondary cases. In 2015, there were a total of 129 primary and secondary cases reported, which is a 90 percent increase from 2014. The vast majority (93 percent) of infections were among men, mostly those who have sex with men.

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"There has been a resurgence of syphilis in the United States since 2011, with increases noted particularly among MSM," said ACHD Director Dr. Karen Hacker. "In this age of social media and anonymous sex online applications, we are concerned that individuals are not protecting themselves and are unaware of the STD status of their partners. It has also become more difficult to conduct successful investigations and insure that both the patient and their partners are treated given the anonymity."

To reduce the risk of syphilis, ACHD is urging all sexually active men and women to follow safer sexual practices.

Free screening and treatment for syphilis and other STDs are available at the Allegheny County Health Department's STD Clinic at 3441 Forbes Avenue, Oakland.

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