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Public Health Alert: Syphilis is on the rise in Pima County

Posted: 11:30 AM, Nov 18, 2021
Updated: 2021-11-18 14:22:12-05

TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — Syphilis is on the rise in Pima County.

As of October 2021, 133 female cases have been reported, 25 of those involved pregnancy. Taking a look at 2020 for comparison, a total of 131 cases were reported among females. Twenty-seven of those patients reported being pregnant.

The factors that go into the high rates, according the Pima County Health Department, include: incarceration, reinfection, drug use, and homelessness during pregnancy. Those are the primary reasons for infections among congenital syphilis mothers and heterosexual men.

According to the CDC, men account for the most cases of syphilis.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that can be cured with the right treatment. Symptoms may include a painless sore that appears inside or near the mouth, genital or anus, or a rash that appears on the palms of hands, bottom of feet, or on the body between the armpits and upper thighs

Information and confidential testing is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at several local clinics and walk-ins are welcome.

Theresa Lee Public Health Center
Main Phone: (520) 724-7900
1493 W. Commerce Ct., Tucson, AZ 85746

North Office
Main Phone: (520) 724-2880
3550 N. 1st Ave. Tucson, AZ 85719

East Office
Main Phone: (520) 724-9650
6920 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85710

A full report is available at