Woe begot top spot 

In most instances Detroit would be happy to be Numero Uno. However, this time it looks like the city has gained the unenviable distinction of leading the nation in syphilis. The Centers for Disease Control is expected to release a report at the end of this month showing that Detroit had the highest rates of syphilis in the country in 2001, with about 35 cases per 100,000 people. This represents a jump from the previous year when Detroit was rated fifth with about 22 syphilis cases per 100,000 people, says Mark Miller, interim STD project officer for Detroit’s Health Department.

“We had our low point in 1996, when we had 95 cases that year” says Miller. “And since then we have had a pretty steady increase with 351 cases last year.”

Miller attributes the increase to risky sexual behavior, such as not using condoms or having multiple partners. He says that when numbers are down, people are less vigilant about protecting themselves. Physicians also tend to overlook symptoms until syphilis rates increase. Some symptoms include genital sores, rashes and hair loss.

Miller says that while syphilis rates have gone down in Nashville and Indianapolis, which had the highest rates in the country, respectively, in 2000, Detroit’s numbers continue to climb.

The Health Department has alerted 700 area doctors of the increased syphilis rates, as well as 100 medical providers in Detroit and Wayne County. The department also is running ads about syphilis on the radio and buses. For more information call 313-876-4176.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 12, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation