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After more than a decade of decline, syphilis rates are again rising in Virginia, with the vast majority of new cases being reported among gay and bisexual men, the Virginian-Pilot reports. Cases increased from 156 in 2003 to 223 last year, health officials reported this week. From January to March of this year, the most recent period for which statistics are available, 39 new cases were reported.
The state health department plans to launch a syphilis education and prevention campaign by the end of the year, according to department spokeswoman Shannon Marshall. Health officials will urge sexually active state residents to practice safer sex and to make syphilis testing a routine part of their health checkups. (Advocate.com)