A long time PolyColumbus member recently shared with a Board member, that a physician mentioned that Columbus has experienced a “syphilis outbreak.”
PolyColumbus encourages all people to stay on top of their sexual health and encourages everyone to gather as much knowledge about their sexual health and their partners’ sexual health in order to make healthy decisions. It truly is the more the you know.
In researching this issue– we found the following information.
Columbus is experiencing a syphilis outbreak.
While the trend in Franklin County has been increasing over the last several years, the City and County are still focused on the outbreak this summer. Several news outlets have published stories on this outbreak over the last year. Several within in the last three months.
AIDS Resource Center has a very informative blog post about the outbreak and syphilis in general.
In many of the stories we reviewed, one of the possible causes of this outbreak, is the mistaken notion that syphilis is a STI of the past. While treatable when it is caught early, the long-term health ramifications of untreated syphilis are very serious.
While HIV testing is often offered in various venues as a stand alone test– it is important to have a comprehensive STI evaluation and testing done regularly.
There are a variety of resources in the community where one can have the full battery of testing done. Some members of PolyColumbus have reported that private physicians discourage or will not perform testing, unless one is experiencing a problem or that testing is not covered by insurance. Other members report that their physician is more than willing to conduct regular testing and it is covered by their insurance.
In Franklin County the health department offers STI counseling and testing at a variety of locations and times each week at little to no cost (sometimes a sliding scale.) To find a testing facility near you– consult this list.
Last year we were fortunate to have the Health Department come and speak with us STIs, safer sex practices, and testing. We fully plan to do this again in the future. It is a good partnership we have developed.
At PRIDE we made a connection with the AIDS Task Force and certainly plan to continue to partner with the Health Department and other groups, in order to keep the flow of information happening.
It truly is the more you know. Research, ask questions, and remember knowledge is power.