Syphilis rates for U.S. servicemen are up but no one is talking about how this might be connected to the government repealing the ban on sexual deviants in the armed forces.
The Fayetteville Observer reported on Oct. 21 that syphilis rates among U.S. troops went up. Actually, the headline read, “Military syphilis rate soars.”
The rate of syphilis among patients of the military health system jumped by more than 53 percent over the past five years, according to an analysis by Leslie L. Clark and Devin J. Hunt in he [sic] Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center’s September medical surveillance monthly report.
Furthermore, the September Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch report defined “patients” as troops. This means that U.S. troops’ family members aren’t included in the data and thus aren’t skewing the data.
The surveillance period was from 1 January 2010 through 31 August 2015. The surveillance population consisted of all active component service members who served at any time during the surveillance period.
The government repealed the ban on sexual deviants serving in the armed forces during the 2010-2011 time-frame. That means the jump in syphilis cases among U.S. troops occurred after that.
So are these two things connected?
CNSNews.com published an article in April on a CDC announcement about syphilis.
“We’re also seeing what we are calling pretty much an epidemic of syphilis among men who have sex with men – that really started in the early – 2000, 2002, but we’ve seen a dramatic increase since 2008,” Dr. Gail Bolan, director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, said at a briefing by the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD).
So the CDC announced earlier this year that male-on-male sex is producing an “epidemic” of syphilis. And just last month the DOD announced that the syphilis rate among its troops “jumped.” Therefore, is the syphilis rate among U.S. troops rising because there is an increase of male troops having sex with other men?
Unfortunately, the September surveillance report doesn’t seem to answer that question.
This analysis reports on incident cases and rates of syphilis among active component service members of the U.S. Armed Forces from 1 January 2010 through 31 August 2015. During the surveillance period, 2,976 cases of syphilis were diagnosed. Crude incidence rates increased from 30.9 cases per 100,000 person-years (p-yrs) in 2010 to 47.4 cases per 100,000 p-yrs in 2015. Males accounted for 88.7% of cases. Incidence rates of syphilis were highest among service members who were black, non-Hispanic or who were aged 20–29 years. About one-quarter of syphilis cases (24.4%; 727 cases) were diagnosed as HIV infected. Primary and secondary syphilis cases comprised 42% of all syphilis cases. Increasing rates of primary and secondary syphilis in active component service members reflect similar trends reported in the U.S. civilian population.
That’s a lot of pertinent information. But that data do not seem to reveal (as far as I could find) what percentage of men are contracting syphilis from having sex with other men.
We already knew that the U.S. Department of Defense’s legalizing sexual deviancy would hurt the armed forces, its troops, and America. But is the rise in syphilis rates one such example of that harm? We don’t know. And right now it seems like people in power don’t want to address that question.