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City of Houston Health Department: Reports Rise In Infectious Syphilis Cases

Houston Health Department Reports Rise In Infectious Syphilis Cases

New syphilis cases in the Houston and Harris County rose 59 percent in the first half of 2018, mirroring a trend that points to steep increases in sexually-transmitted diseases nationwide.

Houston Health Department (HHD) statistics indicate new infections, known as primary and secondary syphilis, totaled 263 during the first six months of 2018 compared to 165 during the same period in 2017.

“We urge anyone who has had multiple sex partners, women of childbearing age and gay and bisexual men who engage in anonymous sex to get tested immediately,” said Marlene McNeese Ward, assistant director at the HHD. “We also urge testing to people recently diagnosed with any other STD such as gonorrhea, chlamydia or HIV to determine if they also have become infected with syphilis.”

September is Sexual Health Awareness Month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data last week showing that nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the United States in 2017. The findings mark the fourth consecutive year of sharp increases in these sexually-transmitted diseases.

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