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Syphilis Elimination Effort (SEE)

Rates of early syphilis continued to rise in Alabama in 2007. Statewide, numbers pf primary and secondary (P & S) syphilis cases rose from 110 in 2003 to 169 in 2004, 178 in 2005, 329 in 2006 and 375 in 2007. The reported number decreased in 2007 for Public Health Area 4 (See PHA Map ), a recent outbreak site in a single county area that includes Birmingham, the state’s most populous city, but the county still led the state with 134 reported cases. PHA 2 in the northern part of the state, particularly the city of Huntsville in Madison County, experienced a significant increase. The totals of cases reported in that area rose from 21 in 2006 to 114 in 2007 and 53 cases have been reported in the first six months of 2008. Several other public health areas also experienced increases in the number of reported cases, keeping the state’s incidence rate high. Reported risk factors have been fairly consistent: drug use and exchanging sex for drugs or money.

To help control the outbreak, disease intervention specialists and program managers from other parts of the state assisted with field work, interviews, and case management. Through the Syphilis Elimination Effort (SEE), a project funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a local community-based organization conducted screenings at local jails and neighborhood sites in areas with high rates and helped distribute educational information about the disease. A public information campaign on cable television helped to increase awareness about the symptoms and seriousness of the disease.

Alabama Primary and Secondary Syphilis: 2002-2007

The table below shows the incidence of primary and secondary syphilis reported by public health area during the last six years.

Public Health Area

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

01

0

1

2

2

6

5

02

6

21

45

13

21

114

03

5

3

1

6

7

22

04

9

22

31

105

245

164

05

8

9

26

10

9

11

06

5

3

4

6

8

16

07

5

0

2

1

0

9

08

106

47

42

21

15

7

09

3

0

2

3

1

4

10

0

1

6

2

9

17

11

2

8

4

9

5

5

Total

149

115

165

175

324

375


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