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article imageSyphilis epidemic rising in the U.S. and Canada

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By Nancy Houser     Aug 25, 2012 in Health
The resurgence of syphilis has risen dramatically over the past 20 years in the United States and Canada --- from 177 cases in 1993 to 1,750 cases in 2010. It is temporarily shutting down the porn industry in Southern California.
Adult Production Health & Safety Services (APHSS) sounded the alarm about "recent unsubstantiated rumors of syphilis among adult performers." The usual annual testing for syphilis is in September, but because of the alarm the agency opened up their semi-annual syphilis testing immediately.
Other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, are also on the rise. According to Huffington Post, "Syphilis infection rates jumped by 18 percent from 2010 to 2011, and there was also a five percent increase in chlamydia and 1.5 percent increase in gonorrhea cases." And truthfully, the syphilis outbreak cluster among California porn performs is not surprising because of their business. But sexually transmitted diseases are spreading on a worldwide basis --- with Canada and the United States no exceptions.
APHSS has since called for a temporary moratorium on adult film production until all performers get tested for syphilis, and the non-profit AIDS Healthcare Foundation is also expected to hold a news conference Monday morning in response to the possible outbreak.
“I think it’s just a general indicator of what’s happening in terms of sexual activity,” said Dr. Howard Njoo of the Public Health Agency of Canada, director general of PHAC’s Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control.
The majority of syphilis cases are among men, accounting for 90.5 percent of all reported cases in 2010. But according to Njoo, the dynamics of the disease are different from other STDs. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are attacking the younger people while syphilis is attacking the older ones. People who are age 30 and older are accounting for approximately 73 per cent of all the reported syphilis cases in 2010.
Huffington Post reports that, "Syphilis is a bacterial STD that initially manifests itself in sores or sometimes presents no symptoms. If the infection isn't treated immediately, people who have syphilis can go on to suffer rashes and lesions, hair loss and flu-like symptoms like muscle aches, fevers, sore throats and fatigue. Without treatment, syphilis could last for years and go on to damage internal organs and cause stillbirths. If caught early, the infection is easily treated with antibiotics such as penicillin."
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