SF ‘Healthy Penis’ Campaign Kicks Off on a Sad Note

HIV isn’t the only STD San Francisco is having difficulty battling. Last year the city saw a spike in syphilis cases, which had been declining for three years.

According to preliminary data for 2008, the city recorded a 66 percent increase in primary and secondary cases of syphilis, a rise of 339 cases last year compared to the 204 cases reported in 2007. Total early syphilis cases rose 55 percent, going from 472 cases in 2007 to 658 cases last year.

Health officials say what really worries them about the recent outbreak isn’t the syphilis, which is curable, but that syphilis can make it easier for people to acquire and transmit HIV.