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Health clinics in rural area struggle to deal with rising syphilis cases

As stated by the Public health officers, rural counties located all across Midwest & West have become the latest battleground with syphilis cases overrun in the area. While the cases of syphilis are concentrated in areas such as Atlanta, San Francisco, & Las Vegas, the disease continues to spread to places such as Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. This has created a new set of challenges for the clinics in the area that are trying to keep up with the inflow of patients.

As compared to the urban hubs, the rural population comes with minimal access to the resources available for public health, less experience handling syphilis, & reduced willingness for addressing the same. This is because of the socially conservative view people have towards non-marital sex and homosexuality. Just in Missouri, the average number for syphilis patients was known to quadruple since the start of 2012. The numbers jumped from a mere 425 all the way to 1896 cases recorded in the last year. Around half of these tend to be outside major centers of population & the typical hot spots for STD in St. Louis, Kansas City, and adjacent counties.

At the Choices Medical Services, the officials watched the numbers grow from 5 to 31 during 2019’s first quarter. Back in the year 1999, the CDC had plans to remove the sexually transmitted ailments which totaled close to 35000 cases all over the year. Even though syphilis can lead to permanent damage to the neurons, blindness, followed by death, this disease is completely curable and treatable. This was possible given the low number with focus concentrated completely on the clustered prime areas such as California.

However, things didn’t work as planned and the cases in the U.S. for the year 2017 topped to a whopping 101500 and counting. Syphilis is back again because of the increasing use of drugs. In the small towns, the younger patients tend to fear the fact that the local doctors who might be their basketball coach or Sunday School Teacher might call on the parents and complain. Others might not want risking gossips about them having the disease when at the doctor’s office. Now, some men refrain from letting their conservative families know that they are sexually involved with the same sex. Additionally, many couples do not know that their partners cheated and the doctors also do not go around asking which leads to ignorance and hence increasing number.

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