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.