Syphilis, a disease close to being eliminated as a public health threat less than a decade ago, has increased each year since 2000 and remains a serious threat to the health of homosexual and bisexual men.
In recent years, men who have sex with men (MSM) have accounted for an increasing number of estimated syphilis cases in the United States and now account for 65% of syphilis cases in the United States. Despite the majority of U.S. syphilis cases occurring among MSM, syphilis cases among heterosexuals is an emerging problem given the recent increases among women and infants.
In 2007, (MSM) represented 65 percent of the 11,466 P&S syphilis cases reported. Increases in cases among MSM have occurred and have been characterized by high rates of HIV co-infection and high-risk sexual behavior. Syphilis among MSM is of particular concern because it can facilitate HIV transmission and lead to irreversible complications such as strokes, especially in those who already have HIV. There is also the financial burden that this life style places on health care budgets.
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