Twin Cities drive rising syphilis rate

Syphilis rates appear to be on the rise in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis ranked 12th in the nation for syphilis rates in 2002, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The city ranked 30th for syphilis rates in 2000.

In addition, a Jan. 6 Minnesota Department of Health review of syphilis infection rates showed 74 cases of syphilis in the first nine months of 2003, compared with 60 cases at the same point the previous year.

Of the cases reported in 2003, 69 were found in men. Within those cases, 54 involved men who had sex with other men.

Cases continue to be concentrated in the Twin Cities, according to the Health Department.

The department recommends screenings for anyone who has had unprotected sex, including oral sex.

– Geoff Ziezulewicz