Health Officials See Rise in Syphilis Cases Among Chicago Gay Men
A "spike" in the rate of syphilis infections among gay men in Chicago has led the city's health department to urge gay men and "anyone with symptoms" of syphilis to get screened and treated for the disease, the Chicago Tribune reports. The health department has identified 61 syphilis cases among gay men so far this year, compared to 44 cases in gay men in all of 2000. Health department officials noted that syphilis infection often facilitates HIV transmission. Department spokesperson Daniel Ash said that approximately 50% of the gay men identified with syphilis this year also have HIV. John Wilhelm, public health commissioner, said that the recent rise in syphilis cases is partially a result of "an increasing tendency among gay men to be less concerned about safe sex as AIDS treatment improves" (Rivedal, Chicago Tribune, 9/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.