A new report finds that San Francisco leads the nation in syphilis infections, and we come in third for gonorrhea. Yay.
The prevalence of syphilis in and around the Golden Gate is nothing new. Back in 2013, SF public health officials noted that the disease had been steadily on the rise here since about 2000, which was a historic low point for the bacterial infection nationally.
The latest report by Health Testing Centers is actually just some analysis of previously published 2017 data from the Centers for Disease Control, breaking out syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia infections by state and county.
The state with the highest rate of syphilis infections is actually Louisiana, with Nevada second and California third. If you look just at men, though, California is number 2 behind Nevada, and as the CDC notes, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) make up 70 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases where the gender of the infecting partner is known.
San Francisco County led the nation in syphilis cases in 2017 — with 67 cases per 100,000 residents — and meanwhile New York City saw one of the biggest decreases in syphilis cases, which were down 17 percent from the previous year. SF also came in third for gonorrhea cases, with 663 cases per 100,000 residents.
And those are only the ones we know about!
Speaking of the clap, you may recall that in 2014, San Francisco was pointed to by health officials as a likely sources of a new, antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea. The CDC recorded steep increases in gonorrhea infections nationally between 2013 and 2017, noting that they nearly doubled among men.
The city with the most gonorrhea? St. Louis.