Syphilis rates soar in Broward; tests urged

A surge in syphilis rates in Broward County prompted health officials to mail out notices to 22,000 residents, encouraging them to get tested.

The fliers were distributed earlier this week by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest AIDS organization in the United States.

Since 2000, Broward County has seen a 400 percent increase in reported syphilis cases and since 2005, Broward County’s syphilis rates are double that of Florida’s, according to AHF.

In 2012, there were 613 cases reported the county, according to the Florida Department of Health.

“While Broward County has the highest rate of syphilis in the state of Florida, the good news is that syphilis is a curable disease — one best caught and treated early,” said Albert Ruiz, Director, Public Health Division for AHF.

Within the first ten days of sending out the notices, six residents sought out syphilis screenings at the AHF Broward Wellness Center.

The health center, which opened on Sept. 3, provides free testing and treatment for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Read more Broward stories from the Miami Herald

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