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Syphilis amongst homosexual men in Quebec is on the rise

Syphilis cases amongst homosexual men in Quebec are increasing at a great rate, but Quebec is not the only place in the world where that happens. Therefore a recent warning by the FDA comes at a bad time.

Winnipeg Sun, Canada - 7 Feb 2005

U.S. FDA issues Globus warning


QUEBEC (CP) - A Canadian company's promise of easy home tests for HIV and syphilis cannot be trusted, the United States Food and Drug Administration warned Monday....


CTV, Canada - 8 Feb 2005

FDA issues warning on Quebec medical tests

Canadian Press

QUEBEC — A Canadian company's promise of easy home tests for HIV and syphilis cannot be trusted, the United States Food and Drug Administration warned Monday.

The FDA issued an alert to U.S. consumers, saying a series of home medical test kits sold over the Internet by Montreal-based Globus Media are illegal, untested and could give misleading results.

"The use of these products could result in false results that could lead to significant adverse health consequences," said the FDA statement....


CBC News, Canada - 8 Feb 2005

Quebec company faces probe over home medical tests

Last Updated Tue, 08 Feb 2005 17:27:02 EST

CBC News

MONTREAL - Health Canada is investigating whether a Canadian company is illegally selling home medical tests for illnesses such as syphilis and HIV.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning this week over the kits, saying that Montreal-based Globus Media was selling them over the internet.

The Canadian watchdog said Monday that it is looking into whether the tests are being sold in this country, where they aren't approved for sale.

The FDA warned that the test kits are illegal, untested and could be inaccurate....


The warning comes at an inopportune time.  Curiously, the following information, far more important than the news on the unreliable syphilis test kit, appears to be unavailable on the Internet.  Even more curiously, the headline is not entirely accurate and to a considerable extent understates the seriousness of the problem it announces.

Edmonton Journal

Saturday, February 26, 2005; A7

Quebec syphilis cases triple

The Canadian Press

Quebec medical authorities say they are troubled by recent statistics that show cases of syphilis tripled between 2003 and 2004.

Clinics and hospitals outside Montreal reported 112 cases of the sexually transmitted disease last year, compared with 39 in 2003.  Eleven cases were reported in 2002 and four in 2001.

In Montreal, about 95 per cent of infected patients have been homosexual men older than 30 years of age.

According to Dr Gilles Lambert, syphilis has made a resurgence in North America and Europe to levels experienced in the 1950s.

With medicine available to treat the illness, people believe they are less at risk, he added.
---End Article---

Given that the annual number of reported cases of syphilis in Quebec rose by a factor of about three in each of the last three years, it may be reasonable to expect that the number of homosexual men in Quebec infected with syphilis will increase by more than 300 in 2005.  The question now is how long it will take for the syphilis epidemic to cross over into the heterosexual population. 

Chastity and marital fidelity are the best prevention against syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases.  They are even safer than invasive medical procedures.  It goes without saying that intra-venous drug users who share needles are at a very high risk of contracting STDs.

The Canadian Press article on the rise of syphilis in Quebec does not mention whether the new cases of syphilis involve the new strain of syphilis that medical doctors find very difficult to treat.  More about that in the articles identified in the following.

...The NZ AIDS Foundation has had to admit that its “safe-sex” campaigns have failed to make much of an impact on changing the behaviour on the homosexual and bisexual community due to boredom with the safe-sex message and growing complacency. It has recognised that the incidence of another STD, syphilis, is now on a dramatic rise among homosexuals. While it can be treated with penicillin, if left untreated it can cause brain damage, heart failure and ulcers. People with the disease have a weakened immune system and are four times more likely to get HIV than those without it. “Men-who-have-sex-with-men” (MSM), a new politically-correct term coined by the homosexual media, have been identified as a prominent group in a recent resurgence of syphilis in New Zealand. A drug-resistant new strain has now been diagnosed....

Warnings of STD pestilence
Tuesday, 15 February 2005, 1:58 pm
Press Release: Society For Promotion Of Community Standards Inc.
Media Release 15 February 2005
Warnings of STD pestilence
Paying the due penalty for unnatural sex and indecent sex acts.
Rare STD on increase in Europe and USA

On Friday, New York Health Department officials announced the discovery of a rare, potentially highly aggressive, drug-resistant form of HIV in an unnamed man who used crystal meth. The man had engaged in unprotected sex with multiple partners while high on crystal....

In New York City, syphilis rates have increased 400 percent in the five years, with men who have sex with men accounting for virtually all of the increase, according to the city Health Department.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Posted on Tue, Feb. 15, 2005
 Drug seduces many to reckless behavior
Crystal meth dulls inhibitions and has led to rising rates of HIV in gay and bisexual men, experts say.
By Miriam Hill
Inquirer Staff Writer

The homosexual lobby, in denial of course, downplays it all:

In light of widely ballyhooed fears that an “epidemic” of syphilis among gay men might lead to a resurgence of new HIV infections—which proved false when the numbers of new HIV diagnoses in San Francisco dropped last year—“the CDC et al have no credibility and our continually traumatized community will opt for skepticism over belief even when a real threat occurs,” Scondras said.

Windy City Times
AIDS Frenzy Hits NYC
by Bob Roehr, 2005-02-23 

Here is the reality of syphilis that homosexual men that engage in unsafe and unhealthy sexual practices find so hard to accept:

Sexual Health

Drug-resistant syphilis is spreading

Study finds mutant strain no longer responds to azithromycin

Updated: 4:59 p.m. ET July 7, 2004

A fast-spreading mutant strain of syphilis has proved resistant to the antibiotic pills that are offered to some patients as an alternative to painful penicillin shots.

Since the late 1990s, doctors and public health clinics have been giving azithromycin to some syphilis patients because the long-acting antibiotic pill was highly effective and easy to use. Four pills taken at once were usually enough to cure syphilis.

But now researchers at University of Washington in Seattle have found at least 10 percent of syphilis samples from patients at sexually transmitted disease clinics in four cities had a strain resistant to azithromycin.

Strain is 'widely distributed geographically'

“That suggests that this mutation is pretty widely distributed geographically,” said Sheila A. Lukehart, research professor of infectious diseases.

The percentage of samples from San Francisco with the mutant strain jumped from 4 percent in 1999-2002 to 37 percent in 2003, with the increase taking place largely among gay or bisexual men with multiple partners.

The study was reported in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.

Experts say doctors should switch to penicillin or other antibiotics if azithromycin does not work. But some of those antibiotics can cause nausea and other side effects and must be taken for two weeks; some patients do not complete their treatment and are not cured.

Experts said the findings also show that syphilis patients treated with azithromycin must have follow-up tests to be sure they are cured. After syphilis sores disappear, the disease can silently attack the brain and cause dementia, paralysis and death.

Penicillin has long been the recommended treatment for syphilis. But it must be given in two buttocks injections much more painful than typical shots, because a large amount of the solution must be forced into the muscle.

Rate of syphilis climbing in U.S.

Syphilis decreased in the United States through the 1990s, then climbed 19 percent from 2000 to 2003 to about 7,100 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC attributed the spike to a twelvefold rise in cases among gay and bisexual men, many of whom are also infected with the AIDS virus.

Lukehardt studied 114 syphilis samples from Seattle, San Francisco, Baltimore and Dublin, Ireland, finding 28 percent were resistant to azithromycin, including 88 percent of the Dublin samples.

Dr. John Douglas, director of the CDC’s division of sexually transmitted disease prevention, said the agency is formulating a plan to test for resistant strains in some areas.

See also: Syphilis is back, especially among gay men with HIV, by Maria Cheng AP Medical Writer, Dec 27, 2007

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Posted 2005 02 28

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