Alexandria Health Department Tries New Approach to Combat Age-Old Infection | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Alexandria Health Department Tries New Approach to Combat Age-Old Infection

Play associated audio
Alexandria, Virginia's health department is taking a new approach to confronting the resurgence of an age-old illness: Syphilis.
Jonathan Wilson
Alexandria, Virginia's health department is taking a new approach to confronting the resurgence of an age-old illness: Syphilis.

Alexandria, Virginia's health department is taking a new approach to confronting the resurgence of an age-old illness: Syphilis.

Debby Dimon is the nurse supervisor for Alexandria's Health Department. She says a decade ago, Alexandria saw three or four cases of Syphilis a year.

"Now we see anywhere from 20 to 30 cases a year, which is significant, given the change and how small of an area we are," she says.

Syphilis was nearly eradicated in the 1990s. But in the U.S., the rate of syphilis infection increased every year from 2001 through 2007. That's the latest year of available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2007, gay men accounted for 65 percent of syphilis cases across the country.

Alexandria started what it calls a Rainbow Tuesdays clinic to this fall to reach out to gay men who need treatment.

Sean -- who didn't want to give his last name -- is one of them. He says its time for everyone to stop thinking of syphilis as a thing of the past.

"Did I think it was possible, for me, in 2008, an educated, professional, gay man to get this?" he asks. "No, I didn't. I thought it was that other person's disease."

The Rainbow Tuesdays clinic is open on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at the Alexandria Health Department. Treatment is free.

Jonathan Wilson reports...

NPR

The World Music Education of Philip Glass

In his new memoir, Music Without Words, the composer explains how a chance meeting with Ravi Shankar sparked a fascination with the cultures of the world and their music.
NPR

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

The company says Diet Pepsi consumers are concerned about aspartame. But the Food and Drug Administration has long affirmed that the sweetener is safe in amounts commonly used by beverage companies.
NPR

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy On Gun Control, Vaccines And Science

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was officially sworn in this week. His confirmation was held up for more than a year because of comments he made about gun violence. Murthy talks with NPR's Scott Simon.
NPR

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.