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Talk to Your Doctor About Sex
Talking candidly to your sex partner(s) should be routine but it is not. But talking about sex may with your doctor is mandatory. Erasing stigma of talking about sex and sexual behaviors is necessary to decrease the rates of new sexually transmitted infections for adolescents as well as adults. Nearly half of all new STD cases are in young people between the ages of 15 and 24.
Syphilis surveillance data released via the 2011 STD Surveillance Report identifies the disproportionate burden of disease among gay and bisexual men in the United States. Disparities continue to be monumental problem for African American males. Health issues related to syphilis in adults are serious enough alone but it’s also been shown that the genital sores caused by syphilis increases sexual risk of HIV transmission. There is an estimated 2- to 5-fold increased risk of getting HIV if exposed to that infection when syphilis is present. There is evidence that syphilis will increase the viral load of someone who is already HIV infected.
Sexually active individuals should…
- Talk candidly with a doctor or health care provider and ask to be tested
- Talk openly with partner(s) about STDs and testing
- Consider the sexual risks associated with HIV and other STDs and use latex condoms
- Get tested for STDs—go to FindSTDTest.org or call 800-CDC-INFO
Primary and secondary syphilis rates are increasing among gay and bisexual men in the U.S., accounting for more than 70% of all infections. During the 1990s, syphilis primarily occurred among heterosexual men and women of racial and ethnic minority groups.
It’s key to know the facts about all STDs and especially HIV and syphilis. Syphilis is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with syphilis sores. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Syphilis can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sexual contact.