Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Associated Press put out a story yesterday about a small drop of syphilis cases in the Palm Springs area, which is in Riverside County.

Year-to-date syphilis cases for that California county dropped from 78 last year to 73 in 2004, a modest decline, but one worthy of an AP wire story.

Similar good news about syphilis dropping in San Francisco is contained in the latest monthly STD report from the local department of public health.

Through the end of August 2003, San Francisco recorded 465 syphilis cases, while 450 cases have been reported for the same period in 2004.

By my estimation, this is a 3.3 percent decline, yet it hasn't been noted in any media reports thus far.

Falling syphilis rates in two California counties, both with high concentrations of gay male residents, should be reported on, if only to keep the public informed about syphilis rates and to encourage the safe-sex practices contributing to the declines.

For a copy of the latest monthly STD report for San Francisco, go to

Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Riverside County cases of syphilis decline slightly

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - The number of syphilis cases reported in Riverside County has declined slightly but health officials warn that the epidemic is far from over.

Seventy-three cases of syphilis were reported in the county through August compared with 78 cases during the same period in 2003.

The yearly total for 2003 was 105.

Health officials began issuing warnings in 2002 after the number of cases rose to 94 from 25 a year earlier.

While easily treatable, syphilis can cause serious illness and death if left unchecked, and infected people can go years without knowing they have it.

Most cases continue to involve homosexual men and are centered in the Palm Springs area, a popular desert resort for gays.

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