The findings and conclusions in these presentations have not been formally disseminated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
306

Syphilis in Sin City

Bruce Webster Furness1, David B. Johnson1, Rick R. Reich2, and Marlo Tonge2. (1) NCHSTP/DSTDP/ESB/FEU, CDC, 717 14th Street, NW, Suite 950 / Box 14, Washington, DC, USA, (2) Clark County Health District, 400 Shadow Lane, P.O. Box 3902, Las Vegas, NV


Background:
The number of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis cases reported in the United States decreased during the 1990s; in 2000, the number was the lowest since reporting began in 1941. Unfortunately, the number has since increased 33.5%, from 5,979 in 2000 to 7,980 in 2004.

Objective:
To characterize the epidemiology of P & S syphilis in Las Vegas, NV.

Method:
We analyzed P & S syphilis surveillance data for 2000-September 30, 2005 using STD*MIS and Epi Info Version 6.03.

Result:
The number of P & S syphilis cases reported in Las Vegas, NV has increased 1,925% from 2000 to 2005 (4 to 81 cases, respectively). This increase occurred among both males and females. The number of P & S syphilis cases reported from 2002 2005 increased among Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics but the percentage of total cases decreased among Whites, increased among Blacks, and remained stable among Hispanics. In 2005, the male:female ratio of P & S syphilis cases among Whites was 8.4, while among Blacks it was 1.1. From 2002-2005, the number of P & S cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) increased 2,700%, from 1 to 28 cases. For all years, the most number of cases were reported among 20-49 years olds and the percentage of total infectious syphilis cases reported among these three age categories was relatively stable over time.

Conclusion:
Like other major metropolitan areas in the U.S., Las Vegas, NV has experienced a resurgence in P & S syphilis cases. Unlike these cities, though, Las Vegas appears to be experiencing this epidemic concurrently among two distinct sub-populations Black heterosexuals and White MSM.

Implications:
In order for syphilis control efforts to be successful, they must target the appropriate affected communities.