/Increased risky sex could have led to syphilis spike

Increased risky sex could have led to syphilis spike

In 2016, there have been 214 cases of primary and secondary syphilis in Mississippi. This is compared to 136 cases a year earlier. This is part of a nationwide upward trend state health officials believe could be due to increased Truvada use by HIV-negative people. Truvada reduces the risk of getting HIV. According to the Food and Drug Administration, Truvada doesn’t protect against other sexually transmitted diseases. According to Nick Mosca of the HIV and Sexually Transmitted Disease Office at the Department of Health, Truvada is effective if you are on treatment. “But the flipside…is that although we have been focusing on HIV and syphilis, it is another animal. Truvada won’t protect you from it.” A spokesperson for Gilead (the company that makes Truvada) stated that the company was working to raise awareness about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and to provide pre-exposure prophylaxis. This drug is known as a PReP in the pharmaceutical industry. “Gilead supports PrEP education via community-based programs and projects. “We award grants to organizations that provide PrEP education for populations at high risk of HIV infections that are historically under-served,” Michele Rest, an associate director of public affairs for Gilead. Mississippi’s syphilis rates mirror national trends. While there are no national data for 2015 or 2016, the number of cases of syphilis reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control rose 12.3 percent from 2013 to 2014. It increased from 56,482 to 63,450. Truvada was approved by the FDA in 2012. Mosca stated that they speculate that some people are changing their behavior and may not be using condoms or thinking about other STDs. Other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea or chlamydia have also increased in recent years. In August 2016, there were 4,383 cases gonorrhea, 12,847 chlamydia cases and 12,847 chlamydia cases in Mississippi. This is an increase from the 3,582 cases and 12,008 cases respectively of gonorrhea reported in 2013. The department of health had the most recent statistics. The national rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea increased by 5.8 percent and 2.8%, respectively, in the period 2013-2014. Health officials say this is especially troubling because the rates of syphilis in Mississippi have been declining steadily since 2013. In 2013, there were only 87 cases in the state of primary and secondary syphilis, which was a seven-year record. The numbers rose to 192 a year later. Mosca stated that HIV gets a lot of attention. “But (syphilis is a problem) and we want people be aware of it.”