A new federal report finds the syphilis rate in the U.S. rose for the second year in a row, while it doubled in Iowa. The national level for that S-T-D rose nine-percent in 2002, and the C-D-C’s Ron Valdiserri says more than 40-percent of all syphilis cases occurred among gay and bisexual men. Valdiserri says “Challenges facing gay men include a low level of concern about other S-T-Ds among those already infected with H-I-V. As well as a more relaxed attitude about safer sex since the introduction of highly effective anti-retroviral treatment.” Iowa had ten reported syphilis cases last year — that’s up from five cases the previous year. State health officials say those numbers are good when compared to 60 and 70 cases a year during the 1990s. Dr. Valdiserri says Iowa doctors need to impress on their patients who are at risk for S-T-Ds the importance in practicing safe sex. He says Iowa health care providers need to be aware of the need for routine testing for sexually-transmitted disease. Of the ten cases reported statewide last year, five were in Polk County, two each in Story and Cerro Gordo counties and one in Madison County.
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