New stats reveal that gay men account for 64 pecent of syphilis infections in 2004, compared to 5 percent in 1999.
There have been 7,980 new cases reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of gay men with syphilis. While this number is small, experts say the stats are worrisome because increases in sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are indicators of projected increases in the transmission of the AIDS virus.
All of this because of the rise in risky sexual behavior by gay men. One cause is the growing use of crystal methamphetamine or Tina.
San Francisco, as usual, had the highest incidence of syphillis with a rate of 45.9 cases per 100,000 people. Atlanta, second with 34.6 cases and Baltimore third with 33.2 cases.
So with the rise in STDs comes the increase use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. However there is increased resistance to the antibiotics in recent years, with a 6.8 percent rejection rate in 2004.
Some scientists and researchers attribute much of the growth to new and more aggressive screening programs rather than to increased transmission.
But because not all gay men report their symptoms, researchers estimate that as many as 2.8 milllion cases of STD occur each year for all sexually active who become iinfected, not only gay men. That is a staggering number and reason to be concerned.
The report concludes that the total number of STDs in the US each year is about 19 million, almost half of them among people ages 15 to 24.
These are sobering statistics. Again, if gay men used condoms during sex, some of this could be avoided. It's up to responsible top men to stop the spread of STDs. By playing safe, these infections could be drastically reduced.