The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently to move more aggressively against the growing crisis of congenital syphilis — mother to child transmission before or during birth.
The latest available figures — appearing in the October 2016 Sexually Transmitted Surveillance report — show that the number of cases across the nation stood at 487 in 2015, which was the highest since 2001, when 506 cases were recorded, AHF noted in a statement. It also cited a New York Times report that nearly five times as many babies across the country are born with syphilis as with HIV.
“In response to data revealing a growing crisis of congenital syphilis across the U.S.,” a statement said, AHF urges the CDC “to act far more aggressively on prevention, education and treatment on the potentially deadly disease.”
The organization also urged the Food and Drug Administration to investigate a continuing shortage of Pfizer’s Bicillin L-A, the key syphilis drug used in the treatment of pregnant women. The shortage is contributing to the crisis, according to the statement.