Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

PENNSYLVANIA: Erie County Sees 'Mini-Outbreak' of Syphilis


Erie Times-News (07.22.2013)

Pennsylvania’s Erie County Department of Health has reported six syphilis cases so far in July, which are the most cases reported in one month in at least 13 years. Physicians and health officials are concerned with the increase because syphilis is one of the more serious STDs and can lead to life-threatening complications and, if left untreated, death. Brian Stark, D.O., a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hamot family physician, also noted that "Another concern is that syphilis is often a co-infection with HIV. Locally, we have seen a steady HIV infection rate, and there's a concern that this means that rate could also increase." Syphilis can be easily treated with only one dose of injected antibiotics in its primary stage, but the disease must first be diagnosed. People with STDs often are reluctant to see their family doctor due to embarrassment, and may ignore syphilis's initial symptoms. Stark stated that the best way to avoid getting syphilis was to follow a few basic rules. "Good old-fashioned abstinence is best. But certainly use protection, know your sexual partners, and if you have any concerns that you might have an STD, get tested."


Copyright © 2013 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in July 22, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.