Syphilis cases reported in Cork and Kerry are three times higher this year than last, with the older gay community being severely affected
The HSE are concerned over the increase in syphilis cases being diagnosed amongst gay men in Cork and Kerry, which is three times higher this year than last year.
In the first six months of 2015, only 7 cases of the STD were reported amongst men, whereas in the first six months of 2016 this number leaped up to 23 cases, more than tripling the figure.
In particular, the HSE have indicated that the older gay community is being affected by this surge in Syphilis.
The HSE are encouraging gay and bi men to have an STD test to ensure that they are not infected since Syphilis can be asymptomatic (up to 50% of people show no symptoms), and if left untreated can cause serious health problems over the long term.
For more information on how Syphilis is transmitted, how it manifests itself and how it can be diagnosed, check out Man2Man.ie.
Thankfully, Syphilis can be treated by antibiotics (such as penicillin) which will eradicate the infection.
For those aged 21 and under, there is a free STD testing facility located in the Youth Health Services, Penrose House, Penrose Quay, Cork. They operate by appointment (from Tuesday & Friday 9am – 1pm), which can be made by phoning them at: 021 422 0490.
Another free STD testing facility for those of all ages is located in the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Old Blackrock Road, Cork. This also operates by appointment (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 9am-12:30pm, Wednesday 2pm-4.30pm), and can be contacted by phone: 021 496 6844.
In Kerry there is a free STD clinic in the Tralee Regional Hospital every second Thursday which operates by appointment only. Call 066 7184139 to make an appointment.
If you’re unable to attend one of these free clinics but would still like to get tested, contact your GP to find out if they can carry out an STD test for you, or point you in the right direction.
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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