Spike in Syphilis Cases Among Gays in London

News: World News
by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 31, 2016   

232 percent jump in syphilis cases among gay and bisexual men since 2010

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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A new report is showing a 232-percent jump in syphilis cases among gay and bisexual Londoners since 2010.

The August 18 report by Public Health England (PHE) notes, "London bears an increasingly disproportionate burden of syphilis cases," and men who have sex with men (MSM) have the highest instances of infection.

While Londoners in general experienced a 163-percent jump in syphilis cases since 2010, the MSM population has seen a 232-percent increase in the same period.

The report states risky behaviors common to MSM in this category include:

  • Bug chasing: Purposely having sex with another HIV-infected man in order to become infected with the disease

  • Sexual activity without the use of condoms

  • Sexual activity under the influence of recreational drugs

  • High numbers of sexual partners

The majority are white males born in the U.K. with an average age of 36 years old.

ChurchMilitant.com reported in July that the PHE released findings determining that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have risen sharply among MSM in the United Kingdom in general.

But the problem is not just confined to Great Britain. The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) notes that the United States has seen an explosion in syphilis diagnoses among MSM in 2014, highlighting the "troubling rise in syphilis infections among men, particularly gay and bisexual men."

"Trend data show rates of syphilis are increasing at an alarming rate," it stated. "[M]en account for more than 90 percent of all primary and secondary syphilis cases. Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for 83 percent of male cases where the sex of the sex partner is known."

The CDC also reports, "Syphilis infection can also place a person at increased risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV infection. ... [D]ata indicate that an average of half of MSM who have syphilis are also infected with HIV."


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