The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) Health Alert

Allegheny County Health Department


 The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is providing the following update in response to an increase in the number of syphilis infections reported in Allegheny County. As of November 10, there have been 98 cases of early syphilis (primary, secondary, early latent) reported to ACHD in 2014, a 75% increase over the 56 cases reported in the same time period in 2013. Facts about the recent cases of syphilis in Allegheny County:


  • 90% of cases occurred among men, the majority of whom are men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • 39% of males infected with syphilis were HIV-positive.
  • 54% of the cases have been reported among individuals under the age of 30


Transmission of syphilis in Allegheny County is primarily occurring among MSM, many of whom are co-infected with HIV.  Nonetheless, anyone engaging in risky sexual behavior is at-risk for syphilis.  Our community-based medical partners have an important role in reducing the number of syphilis infections.  ACHD is asking you to have a heightened awareness and perform STD and HIV screening on patients at-risk for syphilis.

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New ACMS Foundation focus: Healthy Children, Healthy Communities, Healthy Future

ACMS Foundation

Learn more about the ACMS Foundation

Instituted in 1960, ACMS started the Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation with donations from the polio immunization program. The immunization effort was undertaken by ACMS and the Allegheny County Health Department, and sparked a public outpouring of donations collected in jars on the streets of Pittsburgh. The Foundation has since given $2.26 million back to the community.
While so much has changed since that early start, so much remains the same for those the ACMS Foundation seeks to serve. To zero in on core issues the Foundation could potentially impact, the ACMS Foundation, not surprisingly, found that an increasing number of health issues affecting families and their communities arise from their home environments.

A new mission statement captures that focus: ACMS Foundation grants will support home and community environments that nurture and develop healthy children and families for a healthy Allegheny County.

The ACMS Foundation’s vision makes that ideal clearer still:

  • We will help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their physical and behavioral health, their quality of life and that of future generations.
  • We recognize that many medical illnesses can be traced to unhealthy circumstances in our community that occur during the formative years, and can be successfully remediated or prevented.
  • We will support organization- based activities that engage individuals and families in the planning, development, evaluation and implementation of programs at the community level that assist individuals in creating supportive and healthy home environments.
  • We believe that all people have the inherent capacity to effect change in their lives and in their communities. We will support programs that respect and value individuals and their collaborative work to improve health care in our community.


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November Bulletin Available


ACMS Bulletin 2014

Click cover to read full magazine.

Financial Health ……………… 442
Inflation and your wealth: Keep it ‘real’
Gary S. Weinstein, MD, FACS

Special Report ……………….. 445
New ACMS Foundation focus: Healthy Children, Healthy Communities, Healthy Future
Diane C. Wuycheck

Special Report ……………….. 449
HPV-related cancers preventable
Alan Finkelstein, MD

Materia Medica ……………….. 452
Cannabis considered
Lucas G. Hill, PharmD
Gregory B. Castelli, PharmD, BCPS

Legal Report ………………….. 457
Personal cybersecurity – a HIPAA ‘lite’ approach
Beth Anne Jackson, Esq.

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Allegheny County Medical Society
713 Ridge Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15212
412-321-5030  FAX 412-321-5323