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

For Wintry Weather, An Especially Cold And Snowy Tale

This week we celebrated not only Christmas, but also the solstice — the shortest day of the year. In honor of this wintry weather, author Edward Carey recommends his favorite winter fairy tale.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #MuslimApologies Grew Out Of Both Anger And Whimsy

Maha Hilal helped launch #MuslimApologies partly as a rebuttal to the more earnest hashtag, #NotInOurName. She tells Audie Cornish how it reflects a divisive conversation in the Muslim community.

Leave a Comment

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