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Bad Economy Leads to Increase In Syphilis

Antibiotics can cure syphilis—and that’s about all the good news this article contains. Now the bad news: there is an increase in the spread of this disease due to those having sex in exchange for money. I guess this is a sign of the economic struggles facing some of our citizens. And if you are imagining brothels and prostitutes—more and more teens are turning to sex in exchange for money.

When someone contracts syphilis there can be just a few telltale symptoms, such as mouth lesions (spread by oral sex) or lesions around the genitals. These often disappear fairly quickly and the disease lies in dormancy reemerging in the second phase as a rash, often on the hands and feet—not an area usually associated with sex. By the third emergence of the disease the downside symptoms include brain and organ damage--definitely bad news.  HIV also becomes more easily transmitted—and newborns with infected mothers have a 40% death rate.

The issues of syphilis have troubled enough health departments in the Deep South, that they are issuing $10.00 Wal-Mart gift cards to get people to come in and be tested for STD’s.  Economic woes are easy problems in comparison to someone with undiagnosed syphilis—who then catches HIV.


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