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NYC gay males
bearing brunt of rising syphilis rates

NYC gay males
bearing brunt of rising syphilis rates

New York City's spike of syphilis cases in the gay population has ended a period of leveled infection rates. Ninety-six percent of new syphilis cases were contracted by men, with a majority of them being gay, TheNew York Sun reports.

During the first three months of this year, 260 cases were reported in comparison with 128 reports during the same period in 2006.

"Syphilis is still around," said Susan Blank, the New York health department's assistant commissioner for sexually transmitted disease prevention and control. "Indeed, this is potentially quite serious and we need to move sooner rather than later," Blank told the Sun.

Public health officials also expressed concern about the potential crossover between HIV-positive patients and syphilis patients. Patrick Wilson, an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, told the Sun, "It's a bit disconcerting in that this could be within a high-risk network."

The New York-based organization Gay Men's Health Crisis pledged to begin an advertising campaign to encourage syphilis screening. (The Advocate)

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