The study was led by Carol Ciesielski of the Chicago Department of Health. Yet, given recent data, the CDC believes that expanded education among gay and bisexual men should be a priority."Prevention has to begin with awareness and basic education," added Valdiserri. Several researchers noted that STD increases among MSM might be due to increased risky sexual behavior following the success of anti-retroviral therapy for treating HIV/AIDS and the perception that HIV is no longer a serious problem.
Only 26 percent of respondents correctly identified rash as a sign of syphilis, while 61.5 percent incorrectly identified urethral discharge as a symptom. "Together with other recent reports of upswings in risk behavior and STD rates, this survey underscores an urgent need for syphilis education appropriately tailored to the gay community." Researchers at the conference released several new studies confirming reports of increased STD risk behaviors and infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) in certain U. Many researchers also called for new and effective approaches to prevent STDs among MSM.
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Rietmeijer noted that these trends coincided with the availability of effective new HIV/AIDS treatments, which may be causing some MSM to become complacent about safe sex practices. Handsfield's analysis shows that 68 MSM in King County were reported with infectious syphilis in 1999, compared to only five MSM in 1997.
MSM also represented a growing share of all syphilis cases in the county, increasing from 28 percent (five out of 18 cases) in 1997 to 84 percent (32 out of 38 cases) by the first half of 2000.
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