Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Diseases Knows No Politics

Diseases are an equal opportunity infector.
Diseases are not straight or gay.
Diseases are forever.

You can never let your guard down, diseases are always looking for opportunity to infect people.
The United States was on course to eliminate syphilis. Now it’s surging
The syphilis crisis is hitting pregnant people and newborns especially hard
Science News
By Aimee Cunningham
FEBRUARY 22, 2024

Once on the path to eliminating syphilis, the United States has reversed course, with cases of the infectious disease surging.

From a low of under 32,000 cases in 2000, the number of people with syphilis has rocketed to more than 207,000 in 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in January. That’s 62 cases per 100,000 people.

The crisis is hitting pregnant people and babies especially hard. The maternal rate for syphilis during pregnancy rose from 87 per 100,000 births in 2016 to 280 per 100,000 births in 2022, the CDC reported on February 13. Without treatment, pregnant people can pass a syphilis infection to the fetus. That can cause congenital syphilis and lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, severe health problems after birth or the infant’s death. More than 3,700 babies were born with syphilis in 2022, roughly ten times the number in 2012.
We took our eyes off the ball during COVID but diseases never take a vacation.
The US hasn’t seen syphilis numbers this high since 1950. Other STD rates are down or flat
AP News
January 30, 2024

The U.S. syphilis epidemic isn’t abating, with the rate of infectious cases rising 9% in 2022, according to a new federal government report on sexually transmitted diseases in adults.

But there’s some unexpected good news: The rate of new gonorrhea cases fell for the first time in a decade.

It’s not clear why infectious cases of syphilis rose 9% while gonorrhea dropped 9%, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, adding that it’s too soon to know whether a new downward trend is emerging for the latter.

They are most focused on syphilis, which is less common than gonorrhea or chlamydia but considered more dangerous. And while it continues to have a disproportionate impact on gay and bisexual men, it is expanding in heterosexual men and women, and increasingly affecting newborns, too, CDC officials said.
Do you know what else has dropped? Funding to the CDC!
State and local health departments across the U.S found out in June they'd be losing the final two years of a $1 billion investment to strengthen the ranks of people who track and try to prevent sexually transmitted diseases — especially the rapid increase of syphilis cases.

The fallout was quick.

Nevada, which saw a 44 percentage-point jump in congenital syphilis from 2021 to 2022, was supposed to get more than $10 million to bolster its STD program budget. Instead, the state's STD prevention budget fell by more than 75%, reducing its capacity to respond to syphilis, according to Dawn Cribb at the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

Several states told The Associated Press the loss of funding is affecting efforts to expand their disease intervention workforce. These are people who do contact tracing and outreach and are key in stopping the spread of syphilis, which reached a low point in the U.S. in 2000 but has increased almost every year since. In 2021, there were 176,713 cases — up 31% from the prior year.
I asked an AI, “Has closing of abortion clinics caused an increase of STDs and Stis?” Perplexity’s* answer was...
The closure of abortion clinics has been associated with an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Research and reports indicate that in areas where abortion clinics have closed, there has been a surge in STD and STI rates. For example, in Iowa, after the closure of clinics providing abortions, there were significantly higher rates of gonorrhea and other STDs. In Iowa counties where Planned Parenthood clinics closed due to funding cuts, STD cases increased by 20 percent. This trend is not limited to Iowa; states across the country that have experienced abortion clinic closures have reported a rise in STD rates. It is important to note that while the closure of abortion clinics is a contributing factor, various other factors also play a role in the increase in STD and STI rates nationwide.
The Des Moines Register wrote,
Some GOP politicians try to micromanage the lives of their female constituents by limiting access to abortion. The goal seems to be forcing every pregnant woman to give birth, whether she wants to or not.

The anti-choice tactics of these elected officials are largely targeted at health providers who offer abortion services. Threaten them with jail time. Pass laws requiring them to perform unnecessary ultrasounds on patients, provide state-approved literature and obtain special consent for a safe, outpatient procedure.

The favorite tactic, however, is starving Planned Parenthood of funding. Members of the GOP seem to believe running Planned Parenthood out of business will "save babies."

Perhaps they don't understand what syphilis does to an infant.

When a Planned Parenthood closes, Iowans don’t lose access only to birth control, cancer screenings and abortion services. They lose a place that offers testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
From their high moral horse in their effort to regulate our behavior, their belief that sex is only for married couples, that we are sinners I believe that want to force everyone to be cloistered monks and nuns.

*I like Perplexity because the AI gives source references.

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