Did you know that syphilis can cause serious health problems if left untreated or isn’t treated correctly? These serious health problems, like syphilis of the eye, are increasing among both men and women. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease, but can also be spread from a mother to her unborn baby, known as congenital syphilis.
After national syphilis rates hit historic lows in 2001, they increased almost every year since, peaking in 2014 with the highest rate reported in 20 years. In Arizona, there were 590 primary and secondary syphilis cases reported in 2015, compared with 72 in 2001. From 2013 to 2014, national syphilis rates also increased in women. Arizona saw a seven percent increase in syphilis cases among women from 2014 to 2015. More syphilis cases in women means more cases of congenital syphilis in babies. There were 14 congenital syphilis cases reported in 2015 in Arizona.
Syphilis is curable with the right antibiotics. That means managing and preventing syphilis comes down to reaching individuals at risk and ensuring access to testing, diagnosis, proper treatment, follow-up care, and care for partners of those infected. To learn more about the STD Control Program in Arizona, please visit our website. You can find more information syphilis and other sexually transmitted disease by reading our annual reports online. April is nation STD Awareness month. Visit the CDC website to learn more about public health strategies to reduce STDs.