Syphilis on the Rise

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Chicago has seen a jump in Congenital Syphilis, from 13 cases in 2018 to 46 cases in 2022 — a 254 percent increase. This rise has disproportionately impacted Black Chicago, as 86 percent (75 of 87) of cases in Chicago between 2020-2022, were among Black Chicagoans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week released data showing an alarming increase in syphilis cases nationwide. The CDC reports syphilis rates are at their highest since the 1950s. Across the U.S., there were more than 3,700 cases of congenital syphilis among newborns in 2022 – more than 10 times the number diagnosed in 2012. CDPH is studying these cases to determine what factors may have led to the increase, and much more research and prevention efforts are needed to adequately curb the resurgence of this epidemic – especially in Black communities, and among young, sexual- and gender-minorities. Doxycycline Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (Doxy-PEP), an antibiotic which can be taken after sex to prevent bacterial STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, is available at CDPH’s STI Specialty Clinics in Roseland, Austin, and Lakeview. The best way to prevent babies from getting congenital syphilis is to get tested and treated for STIs before birth. If you’re pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about testing and any needed treatment before your baby’s arrival. These services are also offered at CDPH’s STI Specialty Clinics, regardless of one’s insurance status or ability to pay.

Comments are closed.