Syphilis has been around since the 15th century. For much of the time since then, syphilis was incurable. Thousands of people died from it after suffering dementia, blindness, deafness and paralysis. The development of penicillin made it possible to cure syphilis, but results of STD testing show that the disease is still a problem.
The West Coast’s Syphilis Outbreak Underscores Need for STD Testing
Perhaps because syphilis is curable, it appears that people have become lax about STD testing. This is evidenced by a recent outbreak on the West Coast of the U.S. A relatively large number of people have been diagnosed with syphilis. Sadly, the infection affected their eyes and caused blindness. STD testing reveals that most of the cases are clustered in California, but there have also been a handful of cases reported in Washington state.
Researchers are looking into why this outbreak seems to settle in the eyes so swiftly. It appears that problems with the eyes may have been among the first signs of infection in some of these cases. One thing is for certain, though: being vigilant about STD testing is more important than ever.
Groups at Risk
Results of the STD testing of the infected individuals reveals that most of the victims are men who have sex with men. Additionally, many of them are HIV positive. However, STD testing also showed that syphilis is not just a problem for men who have sex with men in the outbreak.
The early stages of syphilis
typically consist of a few sores followed two or three weeks later by a rash and flu-like symptoms. Normally, neurological complications like those affecting the eyes don’t appear until the later stages. This new outbreak appears to affect the eyes much earlier.
STD testing is the best way to receive a quick, accurate diagnosis of syphilis. In any of the recent cases in California and Washington, routine STD testing could have caught the infection well before it caused blindness. Unfortunately, it seems that because many such infections are now curable people have become complacent about STD testing.
ARCpoint Labs nationwide can provide professional, accurate, and confidential STD testing, no doctor’s orders or insurance required. Our facilities are clean and comfortable, and you can walk in without an appointment for STD testing, then get your test results back within days.