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3 alarming connections between Tinder and syphilis

Does Tinder put you at a higher risk for syphilis?

tinder killing romance

The CDC announced a surge in syphilis over the last year. Are dating apps to blame? Here are a few things to know:

1. Other STDs rates have increased too

According to this article in the New York Post:

According to a new report issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a spike in the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea, but syphilis came out on top with a whopping 19 percent rise over just last year. The spike was felt most by young people aged 15-24.

As usual, experts immediately looked at questions of public funding. Jonathan Mermin, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention for the CDC, told NPR that ‘more than half of state and local STD programs have experienced budget cuts .?.?. [and] our ability to prevent STDs is only as strong as the public-health infrastructure to support it.’

2. ‘It comes in waves’

According to this San Jose Mercury News article:

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that’s been around at least since the Roman times, said Dr. Tony Fredrick, the Southern Nevada Health District’s medical epidemiologist. It’s never really gone away — it just comes in waves. It’s detected by blood testing, which means it’s not a part of the “bundle” of STDs found through urine screening.

Caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, syphilis spreads through skin-to-skin sexual contact when there’s a sore or lesion, typically in the genital or anal areas or mouth. Symptoms aren’t always apparent and can progress for years, even decades, without treatment. In early stages, it’s highly treatable with penicillin.

3. The South and the West are affected the most

According to this article in The New York Times:

Over the past few years, the West has had bigger increases in S.T.D. rates than any other region of the country. The number of gonorrhea cases reported in Montana almost doubled last year, for example, to 844 from 434. In California, the number of reported syphilis cases grew by 28 percent, to 4,908 from 3,835.

But the South still has the highest overall rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea. Louisiana has the highest rates of gonorrhea (221 cases per 100,000 residents, compared with 124 nationally) and syphilis (15 cases per 100,000 residents, twice the national average). California and Louisiana had the most babies born with syphilis last year, about 40 percent of the total.

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About Luke Harold Luke Harold is a journalist who has written for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Orange County Register.

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