Infectious Diseases

Syphilis on the Rise in Alaska: LGBT Community Worst Hit

A recent post on Outbreak News Today seems to suggest that the number of cases of Syphilis is on the rise in Alaska, which reported and 8-fold increase in the number of cases in 2014, in comparison to 2009. From 5 reported cases in 2009, the number of cases has risen to 40 in 2014, in what is being perceived as mostly being driven by adverse sexual behavior.

The problem of Sero-sorting has been seen in this issue for a long time, which is believed to be one of the important reasons driving up the number of cases. Sero-Sorting is the phenomenon when a previously HIV-status-known person chooses to have sex with another person of similar sero-status so that they do not have to use condoms.

The reduction of the fear of HIV transmission, and the rising incidence of drug use are also seen as potent drivers of this rise in the number of cases.

Skeptic Oslerphile. PhD Student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Past: 1) Public Health Scientist and Program Manager, Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 2) Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases; 3) Senior Research Associate, Public Health Foundation of India. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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