Medical: Once on the Brink of Eradication, Syphilis is Raging Again


  • Back in 2000, the U.S. had so few cases of syphilis; health experts were certain the sexually transmitted disease was close to eradication.
  • Now, the CDC says syphilis is raging again, after a 74% jump in cases since 2015. Data shows nearly 130,000 cases of syphilis were reported in 2019.
  • Experts have also found a correlation between the increase in meth use and rising syphilis rates. More than one-third of women in the western U.S. who have contracted syphilis have also reported using meth.
  • NPR looked at the data and found that more babies are contracting syphilis, too; congenital syphilis rates nearly quadrupled between 2012 and 2019.  
  • It's not just syphilis cases on the rise, the overall STD infection rate in the U.S. has hit an all-time high every year for the last six, reaching over 2.5 million reported cases.  
  • The CDC is also worried about STD rates in 2020 as testing supplies and contact tracing used for STDs were instead used to fight COVID-19.
  • If you have any questions about STDs or how to stay safe, please visit cdc.gov or HopkinsMedicine.org.