Center for Political Awareness

Syphilis Cases Spike as Budget Cuts Threaten Efforts to Contain Outbreaks

More than 2.5 million STD cases were reported to the CDC in 2022 — likely a significant undercount given challenges around the country with access to testing. (Click image for article.)

Photo: Rachel Levine, chair of the National Syphilis and Congenital Syphilis Syndemic Federal Task Force, stressed that the vast majority of congenital syphilis cases are preventable if infections are caught and treated in time. | Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Syphilis rates jumped more than 17 percent over last year’s record-setting rate to reach the highest level since the 1950s — a dangerous trend that could worsen if Congress allows scheduled budget cuts to disease trackers to take effect this year.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday shows a steep escalation of a years-long national increase in syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections as local health departments work to recover from their battle against Covid-19 and Mpox.

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