In response to a significant increase in syphilis cases, the Virginia Department of Health has launched a new website to call attention to the issue.
Virginia is witnessing a resurgence in syphilis cases after a decline in the early 2000s. Between 2018 and 2022, the Virginia Department of Health saw a 14% increase in total early syphilis cases in the state. Reports for 2023 indicate a concerning 21% rise compared to the same period last year.
Officials attribute this upward trend to two primary factors. Firstly, the stigma surrounding sexually transmitted infections often deters individuals from seeking timely testing and treatment. Secondly, the pandemic has disrupted routine healthcare access, leading to delayed or missed diagnoses.
“We think we’re not going in the right direction,” said Oana Vasiliu from the Virginia Department of Health. “We would like to reverse these trends, and the first step to do that is to get awareness among the general public.”
A newly launched syphilis website features a comprehensive data dashboard to provide information to the public.
Officials are reminding Virginians that syphilis is both preventable and treatable. However, catching the infection early is crucial, as treatment does not reverse any damage that may have already occurred.
This is not solely a Virginia problem. National data reflects similar trends, indicating a broader issue extending beyond state borders.
Source : fox5dc