Skip to comments.Syphilis rates at ‘epidemic proportions’ among Vancouver gay/bisexual men
Posted on 06/12/2013 12:49:37 AM PDT by Morgana
VANCOUVER, June 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) have issued a warning that syphilis infections in homosexual and bisexual men have soared to their highest levels in more than 30 years in the Vancouver area.
According to the warning, 2012 saw 371 new cases of syphilis reported in British Columbia. Eighty percent of those cases were diagnosed in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, which stretches from Metro Vancouver northward along the coast to Bella Coola, and were confined almost entirely to the male homosexual community.
According to VCH's syphilis infection records, the disease was almost non-existent in the early 1990s, with only 3 infections, mostly associated with female prostitutes, reported in 1993. By 1997 the number of cases rose to 22, and then exploded as the disease shifted to the male homosexual community in the early 2000s.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, outbreaks of syphilis in BC are predominantly among men, and have followed the national trend. Across the nation there has been a 870% increase in syphilis in men between 1999 and 2008.
Were encouraging men who have sex with men to become more aware about syphilis and to incorporate regular testing into their health care routine, said Dr. Réka Gustafson, medical health officer with VCH.
The advisory warned that the highly contagious disease can be spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex, and that just being in close contact with an infected persons genitals, mouth or rectum can result in infection.
Common symptoms of syphilis include sores resembling bug bites, rashes on the palms and soles, fever, swollen lymph glands and weight loss.
Dr. Gustafson warned that if left untreated, syphilis can result in permanent blindness, hearing loss, deep bone pain, heart disorders, nervous system problems, neurological problems, and even death, which can occur anywhere in the early to late stages of infection.
The health advisory noted that syphilis also increases the risk of HIV infection. In the VCH region, the report said 60 percent of syphilis cases are also HIV positive.
Dr. Rich Lester, medical head of the BCCDCs Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV division, cautioned that the symptoms of syphilis can be mistaken for other diseases, and that a belief in the practice of "safe sex" can be fatal.
A lot of people believe that just because they performed oral sex on their partner theyre practicing safe sex. But syphilis spreads easily through any form of sexual contact, Lester said. On top of that, syphilis may have no symptoms in the early stages and whatever symptoms do appear later on are often mistaken for other diseases.
"VCH and BCCDC recommend that men who are sexually active with other men get tested every three to six months, and visit your doctor if you have sores, bumps, a rash, blisters or warts on or around your genitals or anal area," the syphilis epidemic warning stated. "Also, practice safe sex by always using a condom."
Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship, a UK-based organization of Christian doctors and medical students, said in a recent blog posting that the usual suggestions, by most public health services, of ways to "reduce risk" of getting sexually transmitted diseases always fail to mention the most effective method.
"So let me say it," Saunders wrote.
"If you want not just to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections but actually to eliminate it altogether, then marry a virgin and stay faithful to him or her as long as you both shall live. Its amazingly effective."
You drag your XXXX in the dirt and you get dirt on your XXXX.
371 cases out of a population of 4.5 million is an epidemic?
371 registered cases means many more uncounted.
Well how else do you get publicity and more funding?
Create a mini-panic and everyone takes notice and money
>>371 registered cases means many more uncounted.
Syphilis? I doubt many people would simply not bother getting treatment, which is ‘free’, and in Canada typically all serious STDs get reported to a central agency even if treated privately.
>>371 registered cases means many more uncounted.
Syphilis? I doubt many people would simply not bother getting treatment, which is free, and in Canada typically all serious STDs get reported to a central agency even if treated privately.<<
There are certainly some people who won’t go to hospital even if it is free. Not to mention syphilis is mostly latent today. It has no visible signs in many cases.
Do tell! and definitely due, too.
It won’t be long before anti-biotic strains of the disease hit. Then it will be game-over for that life style.
I think homosexuality may be the reality of the “you’ll go blind” in some of the old medical books.
The fearsome Al Capone was released early from Alcatraz prison because tertiary phase syphilis had so rotted his brain that he was literally no longer a menace to society nor capable of running his criminal empire.
Faggies still think AIDS was invented by the evil Reagan. Now a far older STD is threatening their loathsome lifestyle. (Sigh) is there no justice? /s
Syphilis used to be treatable with antibiotics. Does anyone know if these are resistant strains?
***and that just being in close contact with an infected persons genitals, mouth or rectum can result in infection. ***
But Momma, I must have got it from a dirty toilet seat!
Remember that old teen excuse from the 1950s?
Yes, we encourage you to “be aware”, to practice safe sex, and to get tested, but under no conditions should you consider giving up filthy, perverted sodomite sex! Why overreact?/s
Homosexuals are disgusting.
“...visit your doctor if you have sores, bumps, a rash, blisters or warts on or around your genitals or anal area...”
And to think that, once upon a time, I wanted to be a doctor.
If the outbreak is clustered in the gay male demographic, which seems to be the case, you have 371 x some multiplier likely > 2, as cunning_fish points out, in a population of around 65,000-70,000, by my math. So around 1%-2%.
Non-trivial, worth pointing out and getting the word out when it comes to a completely avoidable malady. Especially if the numbers are still on the upswing.