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MMWR News Synopsis for April 6, 2017

Estimated Rates of Primary and Secondary Syphilis by State Among Men Who Have Sex With Men – United States, 2015

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Reported cases and rates of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis have been increasing in recent years among all populations, but gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected. In 2015, 81.7 percent of male P&S syphilis cases with information on sex of sex partner were among MSM. To fully understand the extent of the disparity and better target prevention efforts, CDC researchers used a previously published methodology calculating the size of the MSM population to estimate the rates of P&S syphilis among MSM by state. Results show the rate of P&S in 2015 among adult MSM in the United States was 309 cases per 100,000 population. This is 107 times higher than the rate among men who reported sex with a female partner only (2.9 cases per 100,000 population). State-specific rates among MSM ranged from 73.1 per 100,000 population (Alaska) to 748.3 (North Carolina) with the highest rates in the South and West. However, even in low incidence states, MSM still have a higher syphilis rate than men who reported sex with a female partner only. The findings can assist state health departments to better understand their local syphilis epidemic and target resources to address disparities. It is important that both private and public providers recognize the signs and symptoms of syphilis, conduct risk assessments, and screen all sexually active MSM for syphilis at least annually and provide timely treatment according to CDC’s STD treatment guidelines.

HIV Services Provided by STD Programs in State and Local Health Departments — United States, 2013-2014

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Individuals with STDs are at increased risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV. Health department STD programs might help reduce the spread of both HIV and STDs by providing services to populations at risk for HIV.. To assess the extent to which HIV services are provided at STD programs, CDC researchers analyzed data from a national survey of local and state health departments. Results show that the majority of public STD programs in state and local health departments provide several HIV services such as field testing STD contacts for HIV, making sure HIV cases are linked to care, and visiting HIV care providers – but there are areas where improvements could be beneficial. Among programs that provided field HIV testing services, all provided linkages to HIV care and more than two-thirds of STD programs in state and local health departments provided follow-up after cases were linked to care. However, less than half of STD programs reported that they provided field HIV testing for STD contacts, which is particularly important for syphilis cases, and less than half of local STD programs conducted visits to HIV care providers. Among local health departments, less than 1 in 6 STD programs matched STD and HIV case data and fewer local health departments than state health departments targeted prevention to those at high risk. Given that STD programs play a role in HIV prevention, these findings illustrate important opportunities for enhancing prevention programs that help protect at-risk populations.

Surveillance Systems To Track Progress Toward Polio Eradication — Worldwide, 2015–2016

Amy Rowland, Media Lead
CDC Center for Global Health

The number of reported WPV cases declined to the lowest point ever in 2016. Although most national-level surveillance quality indicators improved in 2016, considerable variation was seen at subnational levels. The success of polio eradication requires maintenance of sensitive surveillance to detect and respond to the few remaining cases of polio as well as to find poliovirus in the environment. This report presents poliovirus surveillance data from 2015 and 2016, with particular focus on 20 countries in the African Region (AFR) and six in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) that reported wild poliovirus (WPV) or circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) during 2011–2016, as well as the three countries most affected by the 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease outbreak (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone). During 2016, 12 of the 20 AFR countries and all six of the EMR countries met both surveillance quality indicators at the national level; however, provincial-level variation was seen. To complete and certify polio eradication, surveillance gaps must be identified and surveillance activities – including supervision, monitoring, specimen collection, and handling – must be further strengthened.

Notes from the Field:

  • None

Quick Stats:

  • Age-Adjusted Death Rates by Race/Ethnicity — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2014–2015 (Jiaquan Xu, MD,, 301-458-4086).



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