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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.
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]
MedMira adds three new rapid vertical flow tests to Multiplo product line

MedMira adds three new rapid vertical flow tests to Multiplo product line

MedMira, Inc. is expanding its Multiplo product line with the addition of three new multiplex tests that deliver instant, simultaneous, single-cartridge results for syphilis (TP), HIV, and hepatitis C. [More]
Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

About a decade ago, Medicaid programs were struggling to keep up with skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Between 1997 and 2002, drug spending in the program for low-income Americans grew by about 20 percent annually. ... Medicaid directors began looking for ways to tamp down on those costs. One of the most popular policies was something called "prior authorization" for a new wave of more expensive, anti-psychotic drugs ,... These policies, in a sense, worked: they helped rein in how much Medicaid spent filling prescriptions. But in another sense, they may not have worked at all: a growing body of research has begun questioning whether restricting drug spending may have just shifted costs elsewhere -; particularly, into the prison system (Sarah Kliff, 7/22). [More]
Chemclin's Anti-TP assay provides components for in-vitro qualitative determination of Anti-TP

Chemclin's Anti-TP assay provides components for in-vitro qualitative determination of Anti-TP

Chemclin's Anti-TP assay provides components for in-vitro qualitative determination of Antibody to Treponema Pallidum (Anti-TP) in human serum or plasma by a double - antigen sandwich chemiluminescent assay method. [More]
Viewpoints: Political stand-off on insurance industry safeguards; VA's problems may lie in how government works

Viewpoints: Political stand-off on insurance industry safeguards; VA's problems may lie in how government works

The Obama administration calls it an adjustment, Republicans call it a bailout and insurance companies call it the one thing that might keep them from raising rates and angering policyholders. [More]
HealthHIV: Nearly 50% of primary care providers lack knowledge about HIV treatment

HealthHIV: Nearly 50% of primary care providers lack knowledge about HIV treatment

Primary care providers who provide clinical HIV care (HIV PCPs) are experiencing rising HIV caseloads from newly insured patients under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), according to a national survey released today by HealthHIV. [More]
Informed consent is not required for certain health research, say bioethics experts

Informed consent is not required for certain health research, say bioethics experts

Under the right conditions, full informed consent is not ethically required for some types of health research, according to leading bioethics experts. [More]
AHF opens new Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn in partnership with GMAD

AHF opens new Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn in partnership with GMAD

AIDS Healthcare Foundation will open its newest Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday in partnership with local nonprofit Gay Men of African Descent. [More]
HIV test for new inmates may not yield new diagnoses, says study

HIV test for new inmates may not yield new diagnoses, says study

More than 90 percent of HIV-infected inmates entering prison in North Carolina had previously tested positive for the virus, according to a study published in the November 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. [More]
New evidence shows probiotics offer enormous potential for treatment of depression

New evidence shows probiotics offer enormous potential for treatment of depression

Probiotics are not new, but their status as a nutritional buzzword is. Most folks have now heard and seen the term countless times in commercials and advertisements, as yogurt, dietary supplement, natural food product, and even cosmetic companies promote their probiotic-containing products. [More]
Stop L.A. Corruption: A new awareness campaign that highlights failures of LA County

Stop L.A. Corruption: A new awareness campaign that highlights failures of LA County

Health and public policy advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will unveil 'Stop L.A. Corruption,' a new advocacy and awareness campaign highlighting the profound failures of Los Angeles County and its key elected and appointed officials in carrying out their sworn duties to serve and protect the nearly 10 million residents of the County. [More]
HIV risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing shows no reduction in STI rates

HIV risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing shows no reduction in STI rates

Brief risk-reduction counseling at the time of a rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test was not effective for reducing new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during the subsequent 6 months among persons at risk for HIV, according to a study in the October 23/30 issue of JAMA. [More]
New quick test promises to reduce economic, health burden of syphilis cases in Latin America

New quick test promises to reduce economic, health burden of syphilis cases in Latin America

Demystifying the chemical processes that create a wine's aroma, and the invaluable potential application of that understanding in winemaking, is the new objective of scientists in Uruguay who, with European partners, also recently sequenced the genome of the high-value Tannat grape, from which "the most healthy of red wines" are fermented. [More]
HIV prevention programs for female sex workers in India reduce syphilis, HIV

HIV prevention programs for female sex workers in India reduce syphilis, HIV

HIV prevention programs for female sex workers in India reduce rates of syphilis, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), a University of Toronto study has found. [More]
Research could lead to new ways to combat chlamydia

Research could lead to new ways to combat chlamydia

A protein secreted by the chlamydia bug has a very unusual structure, according to scientists in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. The discovery of the protein's shape could lead to novel strategies for diagnosing and treating chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease that infects an estimated 2.8 million people in the U.S. each year. [More]
New plug-in optical sensor can help diagnose Kaposi's sarcoma

New plug-in optical sensor can help diagnose Kaposi's sarcoma

As antiretroviral drugs that treat HIV have become more commonplace, the incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma, a type of cancer linked to AIDS, has decreased in the United States. [More]
DNAzymes, gold nanoparticles and disease detection: an interview with Dr Chan and Kyryl Zagorovsky, University of Toronto

DNAzymes, gold nanoparticles and disease detection: an interview with Dr Chan and Kyryl Zagorovsky, University of Toronto

Gold nanoparticles are tiny spherical particles made out of gold atoms with sizes on nanometre scale. This is around 1,000 times smaller than the thickness of human hair. [More]

Experts to discuss changes to medical ethics paradigms proposed by bioethics colleagues

Experts from across disciplines at Johns Hopkins will hold a symposium on Thursday, April 11, 2013 to discuss changes to medical ethics paradigms as proposed by their own bioethics colleagues in a recent, groundbreaking publication. [More]