Syphilis up, gonorrhea down

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 28, 2005

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The rate of syphilis increased for the fourth year in a row, but gonorrhea rates hit a new low last year. The chlamydial infection rate also inched upward, but this is most likely due to increased testing, according to the report, "Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2004," issued this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC's data, syphilis went up 8% from 2003 to 2004, being primarily driven by a nearly 12% bump in the rate in men. The rate among women was unchanged.

Chlamydia has also increased by nearly 6%.

"Reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg," said John Douglas Jr., MD, director of the CDC's STD prevention programs. "Health care providers urgently need to step up screening."

Gonorrhea rates fell 1.5%, but public health officials are concerned because the bacteria are increasingly resistant to first-line antibiotics.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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