Syphilis rates up in Dallas and Fort Worth

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 15 2003 12:00 AM ET

Syphilis infection rates in Tarrant County, Tex., home to Fort Worth, and in Dallas County were up dramatically in 2002, according to a report by the Tarrant County health department, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The rate of syphilis rose from 6.9 cases per 100,000 residents in 2001 to 14.2 cases per 100,000 residents in 2002 in Tarrant County. The infection rate also roughly doubled in Dallas County. The increases in the counties were the first in more than 10 years. Scott Hanlan, assistant director of operations for the Tarrant County health department, said the increases were seen primarily among heterosexual sex workers and illegal drug users, but he noted that infection rates also were up among gay and bisexual men. Syphilis rates remained steady or declined in the Texas counties home to Houston and San Antonio, according to the report.