Syphilis Cases Appear on the Rise in New York
After a "year of decline," syphilis cases appear to be on the rise again in Manhattan, a trend that may "foreshadow a further rise in HIV" since syphilis "enhances the transmissibility of the virus," AP/Newsday reports. Susan Blank, a spokesperson for the New York City health department, said, "In the first three months of 2001, the New York City Department of Health received 57 case reports of infectious syphilis, a significant increase from the 26 reports received during the last three months of 2000" (AP/Newsday, 5/9). Blank noted that this year's increase in syphilis cases is "mainly among men who have sex with men, especially those living in the borough of Manhattan." Officials said that 91% of the 117 syphilis cases recorded last year were among males, and 74% of patients were "gay or bisexual." The New York Post reports that New York City's syphilis cases had been decreasing since 1988, with 5,000 cases recorded that year, 1,000 cases in 1993 and 82 cases in 1998 (Endozien, New York Post, 5/9). The CDC's Web site for the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention this week "spotlights" a resource titled, "Taking Action to Combat Increases in STDs and HIV Risk Among Men Who Have Sex With Men." To view the report, click here.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.