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Syphilis on the
rise among gay men in Arizona

Syphilis on the
rise among gay men in Arizona

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria, is on the rise among gay men in Maricopa County, Arizona, reports Arizona State University's Web Devil online newspaper, at

Syphilis cases have tripled among gay men in Maricopa County in the past three years, reaching 175 cases in 2006. In the same year there were 142 cases among heterosexual people. Last year was the first year since the 1980s that syphilis cases among gay men outnumbered cases among heterosexuals.

Syphilis can be transmitted through fluids or skin-to-skin contact and may increase risk of HIV infection if herpes and syphilis sores are present.

Freddy Roman, assistant director of the Wellness and Health Promotion department at Arizona State, which is in the Maricopa County of Tempe, says students don't always practice safe sex.

"Young people in general are taking risks that will expose them to sexually transmitted infections." Roman said.

The campus fraternity for gay, bisexual, and questioning students, Sigma Phi Beta, says it has regular presentations on safe sex and strives to keep its members informed about sexual health. (The Advocate).

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