Select Page

Clinic-Based Testing for Rectal and Pharyngeal Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis Infections by Community-Based Organizations — Five Cities, United States, 2007

Herpes Rates Among Young Adults Aged 20-29 Years

Researchers Suspect Oral Sex to Blame for Rise in Tonsil Cancer

Primary & Secondary Syphilis in AL in Heterosexuals / CDC Report Warns Syphilis is Still Ravaging the Homosexual Community

Clinic-Based Testing for Rectal and Pharyngeal Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis Infections by Community-Based Organizations — Five Cities, United States, 2007

CDC recommends screening of at-risk men who have sex with men (MSM) at least annually for urethral and rectal gonorrhea and chlamydia, and for pharyngeal gonorrhea (1)…To determine sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing practices among community-based organizations serving MSM, CDC and the San Francisco Department of Public Health gathered data on rectal and pharyngeal gonorrhea and chlamydia testing at screening sites managed by six gay-focused community-based organizations in five U.S. cities during 2007…In total, approximately 30,000 tests were performed; 5.4% of rectal gonorrhea, 8.9% of rectal chlamydia, 5.3% of pharyngeal gonorrhea, and 1.6% of pharyngeal chlamydia tests were positive. These results demonstrate that gay-focused community-based organizations can detect large numbers of gonorrhea and chlamydia cases and might reach MSM not being tested elsewhere…
During April 2008, the 10 U.S. cities with the highest estimated number of gay, lesbian, or bisexual residents were identified (5). Gay-focused community-based organizations in each city that provide rectal and pharyngeal gonorrhea and chlamydia testing to MSM were identified through community leaders and Internet searches…
Data for 2007 were collected during April–July 2008… Organizations that used NAA testing generally had higher rates of positivity than those that used culture. Pharyngeal and rectal test positivity generally was high compared with urethral testing.
[CDC, MMWR Weekly, July 10, 2009 / 58(26);716-719, ]






Maybe you didn’t know that you could get cancer of the tonsils, but Swedish researchers are discovering that the “epidemic” of the disease, which takes 20-30 years to develop, was probably caused by HPV infections back in the day. Often with no symptoms, the cancer can spread dangerously before a diagnosis is made.

(; 8Apr09,

Researchers Suspect Oral Sex to Blame for Rise in Tonsil Cancer
The incidence of tonsil cancer has tripled in the city of Stockholm since the 1970s and doctors at the world-famous Karolinska Institute there think they know why.

Oral sex. Or perhaps French kissing. And changes in sexual behavior that took place 20 or 30 years ago, says Tina Dalianis, a professor of tumor virology at Karolinska.

Her research has directly linked the increase in tonsil cancers to the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 different types of HPV, some of which cause cancer. One, for example, is responsible for 99.7% of all cervical cancers.

The study found that patients with HPV in their mouths are much more likely to get tonsil cancer than patients who don’t have it. In fact for patients who are HPV-positive, the rate of tonsil cancer has gone up seven times since the '70s, Dalianis says. It takes between 20 and 30 years for an HPV infection to result in cancer, so the people getting sick now were infected in the '70s and '80s.

“It’s an epidemic,” she says.

Prior to this, the greatest risk factor for tonsil cancer was drinking and smoking. As smoking rates have dropped, the number of tobacco-linked tonsil cancers has declined.

Researchers monitored everyone in the Stockholm area diagnosed with tonsil cancer between 2003 and 2007. Their study, recently published in the International Journal of Cancer, found that of 120 patients who got the cancer, at least 83 were HPV-positive.

Tonsil cancer is dangerous because it has almost no symptoms, so many people don’t seek medical attention until it has spread to their lymph nodes and is much harder to treat.

“If they have a lump in their throat, especially if it’s on one side and it doesn’t go away with antibiotics, they should see a doctor,” Dalianis says.

One bright spot is that a vaccine against the cancer-causing HPV16 virus has been available since 2006 and is now being given to many girls between the ages of 10 and 12 to prevent cervical cancer. Dalianis hopes that it may help prevent tonsil cancers as well.
[3Apr09,  Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY]




Percentage of Adults Aged 20–29 Years with Genital Herpes* Infection, by Race/Ethnicity† — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 1988–1994, 1999–2002, and 2003–2006

The percentage of adults aged 20–29 years with genital herpes infection decreased from 17% during 1988–1994 to 10% during 2003–2006, below the Healthy People 2010 target of 14% (objective 25-4).

Rates of genital herpes (HSV-2) infection among non-Hispanic blacks were significantly higher than rates among non-Hispanic whites and Mexican Americans (about 32% in 2003-2006, compared to about 6% of whites and 4% Mexican Americans).

SOURCES: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–2006. Available at
Healthy People 2010 database. Available at
Xu F, Sternberg MR, Kottiri BJ, et al. Trends in herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 seroprevalence in the United States. JAMA 2006;296:964–73.
US Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. 2nd ed. With understanding and improving health and objectives for improving health. 2 vols. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 2000. Available at



New CDC Report Warns Syphilis is Still Ravaging the Homosexual Community

WASHINGTON, DC, January 14, 2009 ( – Syphilis, a disease close to being eliminated as a public health threat less than a decade ago, has increased each year since 2000 and remains a serious threat to the health of homosexual and bisexual men, says the latest statistical report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2007, men who have sex with men (MSM) continued to account for the majority of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis cases, representing 65 percent of the 11,466 P&S syphilis cases reported. Increased transmission among MSM is believed to be the primary driver of increased rates of syphilis overall in the United States.

Syphilis among MSM is of particular concern because it can facilitate HIV transmission and lead to irreversible complications such as strokes, especially in those who already have HIV. The CDC recommends that all MSM be tested for syphilis at least annually.

See the full CDC report:



Primary and Secondary Syphilis — Jefferson County, Alabama, 2002–2007
8May2009, MMWR, 58(17);463-467,