Sexual Health news - Syphilis

Syphilis rates in Utah have nearly doubled in recent years

The results of the Utah Healthy People 2010 report are in, and while the state scored high marks for breastfeeding and non-smoking, its rates of syphilis show room for improvement. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the number of syphilis cases rose about 94 percent – from 33 to 65 – between 2009 and 2010.

In more positive news, the rate of gonorrhea in Utah is a low 10.9 cases per 100,000 residents, which is well below the state's goal.

As for the syphilis issue, health officials told the news source that they plan to continue to educate people in high-risk populations about the risks and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, syphilis is known as the "great imitator," because it shares symptoms with so many other conditions. Moreover, the infection can sometimes be asymptomatic, which may lead infected individuals to forgo STD testing.

Safer sex practices – like using a condom properly and consistently and visiting STD testing centers in Salt Lake City, Utah – may help curb the rates of syphilis and other STDs.