CDC gives syphilis grant to Franklin County, Ohio
Franklin County, Ohio, health groups have received a $150,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address rising syphilis rates in the area, particularly among gay and bisexual men, The Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch reports. Franklin County, home to Columbus, recorded 56 cases of syphilis from January through August, up from 49 cases last year. Columbus ranks 24th in the number of syphilis cases per 100,000 residents among all U.S. cities. Syphilis infections among men ages 30 to 54 in the county doubled during the first eight months of 2002, with the majority of new cases occurring among gay and bisexual men, according to the Columbus Health Department. Local health officials plan to use the grant money to launch a "prominent" public awareness and testing campaign, specifically targeting at-risk gay and bisexual men. Columbus health officials also plan to hire one full-time and one part-time employee devoted to sexual health work.