Syphilis rates among women end 13-year decline

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 10, 2006

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The rate of primary and secondary syphilis stayed the same from 2003 to 2004 among women, ending a 13-year decline of incidence in this population, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paper published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report last month.

The paper also found that this sexually transmitted infection, which has been on the increase for the past four years overall, grew by 8% in the general population. The higher rate is being blamed primarily on significant increases among men who have sex with men.

Public health officials are calling on physicians to be vigilant about detection and case reporting of this disease in women to prevent this disease from becoming more widespread among in heterosexuals. The agency is also calling for additional educational efforts targeting men who have sex with men who do not identify as gay and who might be spreading this infection to women.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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