December 24, 2013 at 11:00 am EST | by Staff reports
Gays in San Diego combat syphilis outbreak
Treponema pallidum, syphilis, STI, gay news, Washington Blade, outbreak

Electron micrograph of Treponema pallidum. Treponema pallidum is the causative agent of syphilis. (Public domain image by the CDC)

SAN DIEGO — Syphilis continues to be a problem in San Diego’s gay community, but numerous resources are available to help sexually active individuals remain healthy, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports.

In recent years, syphilis reports among gay men have increased in various cities, including San Diego. In the recent outbreaks, 20-70 percent of gay men with syphilis also had HIV. Not only are the health problems caused by syphilis considered serious, the genital sores caused by syphilis also make it easier to acquire or transmit the HIV virus, the paper reports.

Gay Men’s Health Services of Family Health Centers of San Diego has created a campaign to help educate the community about syphilis and provides several resources and opportunities to get tested for syphilis and other STDs.

The health promotion campaign encourages those who are “looking for a man” to also look for signs of syphilis. Symptoms include a rash on the upper body, palms and soles of the feet.

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