Las Vegas is experiencing the highest rate of syphilis in the Western United States. Other sites with a significant increase in cases are Kansas, Pennsylvania and Hawaii.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that has been around since the Roman times, but as a practitioner, I must say that I do not see if often. Syphilis is caused by the Treponema pallidum which is spread by skin-to-skin contact when there’s a sore or lesion. Sores are typically in the genital or anal areas … or the mouth. Often there are no symptoms. It is treated with penicillin.
The uptick it syphilis cases is multifactorial. We physicians have tested for this more often and so more cases are picked up. there is also a rise in anonymous sex via social media. That linked with less consistent use of condoms with sexual contact increases the rate of transmission to others.
We test for syphilis by blood work, not the routine urine or genital swabs. Please ask for this from your healthcare provider if you have had genital sores or risky sexual behavior. Syphilis is especially prominent in gay men.
Be safe out there, folks!