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At one point syphilis was targeted for elimination, but that is not the case anymore. This persistent sexually transmitted disease (STD) is on the rise again and has reached a critical high: the current number and rate of cases is higher than it’s been in more than 20 years. In 2015, there were close to 24,000 cases of syphilis reported in the U.S.—that was almost a 20% increase since 2014 alone. Indiana reported 505 infectious syphilis cases in 2015, which was a 70% increase in cases since 2014. This rise in infections makes syphilis a renewed health threat for many.
If left untreated, syphilis can cause severe health problems affecting the brain, eyes, heart, and other organs. Having syphilis also makes it easier to contract HIV. Syphilis can also be transmitted to unborn children and can cause birth defects or preterm delivery. The good news is that syphilis is simple to test for and cure with the right treatment.
The mission of this program is to intervene in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and reduce the complications of these diseases. The program provides technical and financial assistance to local STD programs for surveillance, case detection through screening, ensuring treatment of known cases, case follow-up, and education. Efforts are coordinated among health care providers screening for syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. Other important aspects of this program provide education and prevention counseling of persons impacted by STDs.
(Full and Part-Time Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinics)
Providers can email STD@isdh.in.gov for copies of the STD treatment guidelines
If you think you might have a STD:
Simple tests can show if you have a STD. DON'T WAIT!
If you think it will go away, think again! IT WON'T!
Most STDs can be treated with antibiotics; follow your doctor's direction and be sure to use all of your medicine.
Above all, your sex partner(s) must be told they have been exposed to an infection. If they are not treated, they can spread the disease, and you may get it again!
DON'T HAVE SEX UNTIL YOU HAVE A CHECKUP.
For additional information, call:
STI Resource Center Hotline
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. EST (Monday - Friday)
National Hotline at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both English and Spanish:
1-888-232-6348 TTY Service for the Deaf
CDC-INFO’s operating hours are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern time (ET).
CDC-INFO is closed overnight (8:00 pm to 8:00 am, ET), Saturdays and Sundays, and on major federal holidays (New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day).