Syphilis Elimination Effort
The Syphilis Elimination Effort was launched in 1999 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the release of the National Plan to Eliminate Syphilis from the United States. In that plan, syphilis elimination was defined as the absence of sustained transmission of syphilis in the United States and was considered plausible because of historically low rates of infection in the United States, geographically limited disease incidence, and the availability of inexpensive and effective diagnostic tests and therapy.
Gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) account for over 75% of infectious syphilis diagnosed in California, half of whom are also infected with HIV. Because of this, many of our efforts to reduce syphilis focus on HIV-positive MSM. The strategic directions of the California Syphilis Elimination Effort are (1) to provide statewide leadership and program planning; (2) to assess, monitor and evaluate disease burden and program activities; (3) to increase access to and improve quality of care for Californians; (4) to improve partner services as an intervention for syphilis control; (5) to increase public awareness of syphilis and to integrate syphilis messages into existing programs and activities.
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