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Syphilis infections are increasing in New York State, with a 44% increase in Upstate New York between 2013 and 2014. In many Central New York and Capital District counties, the number of cases has more than doubled in this period. Cases are mainly among males, especially gay men and men who have sex with men.
Having unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, or a new sex partner can all increase the risk of syphilis infection, as well as other STIs and HIV.
Syphilis symptoms may include a painless sore at the infection site (usually genitals, can also be around the rectum, mouth, or other areas) and a rash, usually on the hands and feet.
These symptoms will go away on their own but the infection is still in the body.
Syphilis increases your risk of getting HIV if you are exposed.
Syphilis is easy to transmit, and many people don't have symptoms.
Using condoms does reduce the risk of infection but only where it covers the skin.
If you are serosorting (Having sex with HIV negative men only) or using PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent HIV, remember that these strategies do not protect against syphilis and other STIs.
For more information about syphilis and how to get tested call 518.434.4686.
Syphilis has many profiles! The guy on the other side of a hook-up app can give you more than a good time? "DDF" in a profile doesn't mean he has been recently tested for Syphilis or other STI's. Asking the question "When have you been tested for Syphilis?" can be uncomfortable, but it can help you to make a more informed decision and prevent you from getting infected. If and when you meet in the person for some fun, recognizing syphilis symptoms on you or your partner(s) can be tricky. Syphilis sores are small and can often be mistaken for less serious skin ulcers like a pimple or a cold sore. If you are having skin to skin (mostly anal and oral) contact, a well lit place is best for seeing them. But the only way to know for sure is to get tested for syphilis.
In 2011, there was a rise in syphilis cases in the Capital Region, with men accounting for the majority of cases. The primary risk factor identified was men having sex with men, which we still see today
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