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Howard Brown Calls for More Syphilis Testing
by Andrew Davis
2005-12-14

This article shared 3238 times since Wed Dec 14, 2005
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Howard Brown Health Center has announced that it is calling for increased syphilis testing for sexually active men who have sex with men ( MSM ) .

After declining in 2003 and 2004, syphilis cases are on the rise. According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, primary and secondary syphilis cases among gay and bisexual men increased from 69 cases to 135 cases during the first half of 2005, compared to the same period in 2004—an increase of 96 percent. Howard Brown diagnoses and treats more syphilis cases than any other private provider in Chicago, and has several testing and treatment options available for the community.

Syphilis occurs in three stages: primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary ( first ) stage is usually marked by the appearance of a single sore ( chancre ) but there may be several sores; the sores last 3-6 weeks.

A rash is the calling card of the secondary stage; other symptoms include fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches and exhaustion.

In the tertiary stage, the syphilius bacterium may begin to damage internal organs; late-stage symptoms include paralysis, gradual blindness—and, possibly, death.

Syphilis testing and treatment are available during the center's regular medical clinic hours Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1-7 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ( closed noon-1 p.m. ) , and the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m.- noon.

Anonymous HIV testing is also available during these hours.

For more information, please call ( 773 ) 388-1600.

People who are diagnosed with syphilis should immediately notify their sex partners to stop the further spread of disease and improve the community's health. Confidential partner notification services for syphilis are available at Howard Brown.


This article shared 3238 times since Wed Dec 14, 2005
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