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Early Syphilis in the United States Identified in Corrections Facilities, 1999-2002"
  Sexually Transmitted Diseases
May 6, 2004; Vol. 31; No. 6
Richard H. Kahn, MS; Richard
F. Voigt, MA; Emmett Swint, MS; Hillard Weinstock, MD, MPH
CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News
The researchers conducted a study to estimate the number of early syphilis cases (primary, secondary and early latent) identified from corrections facilities from 1999 to 2002 and to determine characteristics of persons likely to be identified with syphilis in such facilities.
The investigators determined the proportion of cases from corrections facilities throughout the United States from state health department reports to CDC. They calculated the proportion of cases identified in corrections facilities in the 30 counties with the largest number of syphilis cases in 2002 and determined the male-to-female syphilis ratios.
The researchers found that from 1999 to 2002, 63,293 cases of syphilis were reported to CDC, of which 61,691 (97.5 percent) had a known source of report. Of those, 7,725 (12.5 percent) noted corrections facilities as the source of information. Among men, 4,747 cases (13 percent) were from corrections facilities. Among women, 2,974 (11.8 percent) were from prisons. Counties with a higher proportion of syphilis cases from corrections facilities were likely to have lower male-to-female ratios, the study found.
"A substantial proportion of early syphilis cases is identified from corrections facilities," the investigators concluded. "Among counties with the largest number of cases, a higher proportion of syphilis cases was identified from corrections facilities in counties with higher rates of heterosexually transmitted syphilis."
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