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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It has often been called “the great imitator” because so many of the signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases.

In the United States, health officials reported over 36,000 cases of syphilis in 2006, including 9,756 cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis. In 2006, half of all P&S syphilis cases were reported from 20 counties and 2 cities; and most P&S syphilis cases occurred in persons 20 to 39 years of age. The incidence of P&S syphilis was highest in women 20 to 24 years of age and in men 35 to 39 years of age. Reported cases of congenital syphilis in newborns increased from 2005 to 2006, with 339 new cases reported in 2005 compared to 349 cases in 2006.

Between 2005 and 2006, the number of reported P&S syphilis cases increased 11.8 percent. P&S rates have increased in males each year between 2000 and 2006 from 2.6 to 5.7 and among females between 2004 and 2006. In 2006, 64% of the reported P&S syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying. Syphilis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.
Falls in stillbirth rates failing to keep pace with childhood, maternal mortality rates

Falls in stillbirth rates failing to keep pace with childhood, maternal mortality rates

Approximately 2.6 million babies were stillborn in 2015, or around 7200 every day globally. Falls in stillbirth rates since the year 2000 are failing to keep pace with falls in childhood and maternal mortality rates, say the authors of The Lancet’s new Ending preventable stillbirths Series. [More]
Study shows slow global progress on stillbirth prevention leaves over 2.6 million babies at risk each year

Study shows slow global progress on stillbirth prevention leaves over 2.6 million babies at risk each year

More than 2.6 million stillbirths continue to occur globally every year with very slow progress made to tackle this 'silent problem', according to new research published in The Lancet. Despite significant reductions in the number of maternal and child deaths, there has been little change in the number of stillbirths (in the third trimester of pregnancy) even though the majority are preventable. [More]
Increasing alcohol taxes decreases gonorrhea rates by 24% in Maryland

Increasing alcohol taxes decreases gonorrhea rates by 24% in Maryland

Increasing state alcohol taxes could help prevent sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, according to University of Florida Health researchers, who found that gonorrhea rates decreased by 24 percent in Maryland after the state increased its sales tax on alcohol in 2011. [More]
Generex agrees to acquire 51% equity interest in Hema Diagnostic Systems

Generex agrees to acquire 51% equity interest in Hema Diagnostic Systems

Generex Biotechnology Corporation today announced that it has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with Hema Diagnostic Systems, LLC (HDS), a Florida company that designs and manufactures proprietary infectious disease detection technologies. [More]
Alere doubles commitment to support OAFLA in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and EID

Alere doubles commitment to support OAFLA in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and EID

Alere, a global leader in rapid diagnostics, today doubled its commitment to the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS in its efforts to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa by eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and increasing early infant diagnosis (EID). [More]
UN reports that more needs to be done so all children are born HIV and syphilis free in Asia-Pacific region

UN reports that more needs to be done so all children are born HIV and syphilis free in Asia-Pacific region

The Asia–Pacific region has made significant progress in efforts to eliminate HIV and syphilis, but thousands of mothers and children have yet to feel the benefits. [More]
HIV prevention program undergoes “real world” evaluation

HIV prevention program undergoes “real world” evaluation

A programme that provides pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection among sexually active gay men has not seen one case of HIV infection since it began in 2012, according to the first “real world” evaluation of the regimen at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center. [More]
Mexican engineer designs new ring that can help diagnose sexually transmitted diseases

Mexican engineer designs new ring that can help diagnose sexually transmitted diseases

A ring with the ability to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis was designed by the Mexican Ernesto Rodríguez Leal. [More]
New review points to most promising areas for liposomes' further development

New review points to most promising areas for liposomes' further development

An international group of scientists, including Vladimir Chupin, head of the Biophysics Section at MIPT, and Vladimir Torchilin (Northeastern University, the USA), one of the world's leading experts in pharmacology, recently presented a review of liposomes, microscopic capsules widely used all over the world in the development of new drugs. [More]
Human breast milk bought online poses serious health risks

Human breast milk bought online poses serious health risks

The recent craze for human breast milk, which has become a lucrative online market, poses serious health risks, according to British experts. [More]
French clinicians diagnose first case of rabies since 2003

French clinicians diagnose first case of rabies since 2003

A team of French clinicians has diagnosed the first case of rabies in that country since 2003. Only 20 cases of human rabies had been diagnosed in France between 1970 and 2003. Moreover, the patient was unaware of having been bitten. [More]

Diagnostics Direct introduces CLIA approved diagnostic test, Syphilis Health Check

Diagnostics Direct, LLC., a leading provider of in-office diagnostic tests, is pleased to announce the launch of the first CLIA-Waived rapid treponemal syphilis test: Syphilis Health Check™. [More]
Researchers reveal obstacles that prevent Ugandans with RHD from getting life-saving penicillin

Researchers reveal obstacles that prevent Ugandans with RHD from getting life-saving penicillin

Penicillin has nearly eradicated rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in the United States. But 15 million people still suffer with the disease worldwide, and 1.4 million die each year, according to World Heart Federation. [More]
San Francisco AIDS Foundation unveils new mobile testing unit

San Francisco AIDS Foundation unveils new mobile testing unit

On Valentine's Day, San Francisco AIDS Foundation unveiled a new mobile testing unit, an essential element in the plan to eliminate HIV transmission in San Francisco. The new unit—a 33-foot-long vehicle outfitted specifically for HIV and STI testing—will increase the availability of free testing in neighborhoods across the city at times when other HIV testing sites are closed. [More]
Researchers develop smartphone accessory for rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases at point of care

Researchers develop smartphone accessory for rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases at point of care

A team of researchers, led by Samuel K. Sia, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering, has developed a low-cost smartphone accessory that can perform a point-of-care test that simultaneously detects three infectious disease markers from a finger prick of blood in just 15 minutes. [More]
New diagnostic system describes symptoms using the image of patient's tongue

New diagnostic system describes symptoms using the image of patient's tongue

Physicians often ask their patients to "Please stick out your tongue". The tongue can betray signs of illness, which combined with other symptoms such as a cough, fever, presence of jaundice, headache or bowel habits, can help the physician offer a diagnosis. For people in remote areas who do not have ready access to a physician, a new diagnostic system is reported in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology that works to combine the soft inputs of described symptoms with a digital analysis of an image of the patient's tongue. [More]

New study documents health dangers of male sex trade in Mexico City

A new study documents the stark health dangers of the male sex trade in the streets, hotels, and discotheques of Mexico City. Lead author and health economist Omar Galárraga's point in making the grim assessment of the legal but perilous market is to find an incentive that might reduce the spread of HIV and other diseases in the nation's community of men who have sex with men. [More]
Ebola outbreak emphasizes the importance of monitoring disease burden in developing countries

Ebola outbreak emphasizes the importance of monitoring disease burden in developing countries

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that for Ebola, measles, syphilis and many other conditions with skin manifestations the mortality rates are hundreds of times higher in developing countries than they are in developed countries. [More]
First three recipients of inaugural Harry Winston Fellowships named

First three recipients of inaugural Harry Winston Fellowships named

Harry Winston, Inc. and the UCLA Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute have named the first three recipients of the inaugural Harry Winston Fellowships. [More]
Rice University researchers confirm potent synthesis of natural tetracycline

Rice University researchers confirm potent synthesis of natural tetracycline

A fortuitous collaboration at Rice University has led to the total synthesis of a recently discovered natural antibiotic. [More]
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