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Columbus health officials warn of syphilis outbreak: where to get tested

Love on the Rise, Syphilis Too: Columbus Sounds Alarm on STI Spike

Love may be in the air this season, but so is a worrying rise in syphilis cases across Central Ohio. Columbus, mirroring a national trend, is seeing a concerning surge in this once-forgotten sexually transmitted infection, prompting health officials to urge residents to get tested and protect themselves.

A Sobering Snapshot:

  • Nationwide: Syphilis cases leaped 9% in 2022, the highest reported since 1950.
  • Ohio: Cases skyrocketed to 5,306 in 2022, nearly tripling the 2018 tally of 1,923.
  • Columbus: The capital city witnessed a dramatic increase, with cases tripling from 391 in 2018 to a staggering 1,414 in 2022.

Beyond Statistics, Human Impact:

While gay and bisexual men remain disproportionately affected, this rise should concern everyone. Pregnant women, individuals who share injection equipment, and those engaging in unprotected sex with high-risk partners are among the vulnerable populations.

Early Detection is Key:

The good news? Syphilis is easily treatable with antibiotics if caught early. However, left unchecked, it can lead to severe health complications. Here’s the call to action:

  • Don’t wait to get tested. Many free or low-cost options are available.
  • Regular testing is crucial, especially for high-risk groups.
  • Protect yourself and your partners. Consistent condom and dental dam use is essential.

Where to Get Help:

Columbus Public Health, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Resource Center Ohio, and other organizations offer confidential and convenient testing services. Check their websites or call for details.

Remember: Love and healthy relationships deserve protection. Let’s keep Cupid happy and syphilis at bay through responsible choices and regular testing.

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