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Syphilis

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2013 | By Richard Winton
An attorney for the porn actor "Mr. Marcus," who hid the fact he tested positive for syphilis, said his client pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of exposing another to a communicable disease to get out of jail. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Catherine Ewell sentenced Jesse Spencer on Tuesday to 30 days in jail, 15 days of community service and three years probation. At the time of the sentencing, Spencer was being held on $200,000 bail for suspicion of drunk driving.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2013 | By Richard Winton
An attorney for the porn actor "Mr. Marcus," who hid the fact he tested positive for syphilis, said his client pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of exposing another to a communicable disease to get out of jail. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Catherine Ewell sentenced Jesse Spencer on Tuesday to 30 days in jail, 15 days of community service and three years probation. At the time of the sentencing, Spencer was being held on $200,000 bail for suspicion of drunk driving.
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NEWS
June 16, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Pregnant women with syphilis can pass the disease to their developing baby, and for many babies in the womb, the outcome is death. But a simple screening test and treatment could be a cheap way to cut such stillbirths and deaths, British scientists reported Thursday.  That study holds immense promise, especially for women in the developing world. Another new study related to stillbirths -- and the potential risk based on maternal sleeping position -- is much less conclusive. In the first report, an analysis of 10 studies, researchers concluded that offering screening and treatment for syphilis could cut stillbirths and early neonatal deaths by more than half.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2013 | By David Ng
A new biography of Benjamin Britten being published in Britain to commemorate the late composer's 100th birthday contends that he suffered from syphilis and that he may have contracted the venereal disease in his 20s. "Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century," by Paul Kildea, is scheduled to be released in February. (No U.S. publication date has been announced.) Passages from the book have appeared in the Telegraph.  One section states that during an operation in 1973, a doctor found that Britten's "aorta was riddled with tertiary syphilis.
NEWS
November 22, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
The rate of gonorrhea in the United States is at an all-time low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday, but the rates for chlamydia and syphilis continue to rise.  The three sexually transmitted diseases, orSTDs, together account for about 1.5 million cases annually, less than 10% of the country's estimated 19 million cases. But they are the only ones that must be reported to CDC by doctors because they have such potentially serious consequences. Herpes and human papillomavirus account for the bulk of the remaining STD infections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2000 | JULIE MARQUIS, TIMES HEALTH WRITER
The number of syphilis cases reported in an outbreak among gay men in Los Angeles County has doubled to 51 in the last two weeks, adding urgency to public health officials' efforts to contain the spread. Twenty-eight of the 51 infected people also have the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS--worrisome because syphilis sores facilitate transmission of HIV, said Peter Kerndt, director of the county's program on sexually transmitted diseases.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 1987 | Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports
Syphilis may be especially dangerous and hard to treat in people infected with the AIDS virus, according to two reports in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The studies found an association between the acquired immune deficiency syndrome virus and syphilis' invasion of the brain. Doctors said neurosyphilis, whose symptoms include headaches, dizziness, paralysis and insanity, may be the first sign of AIDS in some infected people.
NEWS
March 27, 2002 | CHARLES ORNSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Outbreaks of syphilis among gay men in large urban areas, particularly in California, are threatening to reverse progress toward eliminating the disease in this country. In San Francisco, the number of new infectious cases grew from a historic low of 26 in 1998 to 139 last year. Officials there say the total could easily top 250 this year--which would be the highest in more than a decade.
NEWS
August 25, 1999 | From Associated Press
Health officials are trying to warn participants in an Internet chat room that at least seven gay men who met through the online site have been diagnosed with syphilis. Because most people who use America Online's SFM4M chat room are disguised by fake "screen" identities, the San Francisco Department of Health has no names or phone numbers to indicate who might have been exposed to the sexually transmitted disease.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2001 | NEDRA RHONE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal report released Thursday on a syphilis outbreak in Southern California last year underscores fears that gay and bisexual men's participation in risky sexual practices has increased. More alarming, Centers for Disease Control researchers said, was the finding that at least 34 gay or bisexual men who were part of the 130-case outbreak in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties were aware that they had HIV.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2012 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Jolted by the possibility of a syphilis outbreak among its ranks, a Los Angeles-based trade group that represents the adult film industry announced a nationwide moratorium on X-rated productions while more than 1,000 porn performers are tested. The Free Speech Coalition issued the call on its website after reporting that one performer tested positive for syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, and had begun notifying sexual partners of that information. The moratorium was announced Saturday, a day after Los Angeles County's Public Health Department said it was investigating a cluster of possible syphilis cases within the porn industry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2012 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Syphilis cases in California jumped 18% from 2010 to 2011, according to new data released by the state Department of Public Health. The data also show a 5% rise in chlamydia cases and 1.5% increase in gonorrhea cases. Public health officials said they were concerned about the rise of all three sexually transmitted diseases because they can lead to even more serious health problems, like infertility and an increased risk of HIV. "The longer people have these infections without being treated the more likely it is they are going to develop a complication that will have both health and financial costs," said Heidi Bauer, chief of the Sexually Transmitted Disease Control Branch for the state public health agency.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2011 | By Gary Goldstein
Though at first, er, blush, writer-director Bertrand Bonello's "House of Pleasures" evokes the canon of late-1960s soft-porn chic purveyor Radley Metzger, its gauzy look at an upscale Parisian brothel circa 1900 evolves into something more — and also less. On the one hand, the film plays like an intimate series of beautifully composed paintings depicting daily life at L'Apollonide, a velvety palace of desire, fantasy and dashed dreams, where aristocratic men cavort with alluring women near-classically trained in the oldest profession.
NEWS
July 12, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
A new strain of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea should be enough to scare anyone who's playing the field without full protection. But the worries might not stop there. Like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are sexually transmitted diseases that are caused by bacteria. And anytime you have a bacterial disease, there's at least some chance that the germs could eventually find a way to outsmart antibiotics. So what are the odds that chlamydia or syphilis could turn into the next super germs?
NEWS
June 16, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Pregnant women with syphilis can pass the disease to their developing baby, and for many babies in the womb, the outcome is death. But a simple screening test and treatment could be a cheap way to cut such stillbirths and deaths, British scientists reported Thursday.  That study holds immense promise, especially for women in the developing world. Another new study related to stillbirths -- and the potential risk based on maternal sleeping position -- is much less conclusive. In the first report, an analysis of 10 studies, researchers concluded that offering screening and treatment for syphilis could cut stillbirths and early neonatal deaths by more than half.
NEWS
November 22, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
The rate of gonorrhea in the United States is at an all-time low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday, but the rates for chlamydia and syphilis continue to rise.  The three sexually transmitted diseases, orSTDs, together account for about 1.5 million cases annually, less than 10% of the country's estimated 19 million cases. But they are the only ones that must be reported to CDC by doctors because they have such potentially serious consequences. Herpes and human papillomavirus account for the bulk of the remaining STD infections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 2001 | SHARON BERNSTEIN, TIMES HEALTH WRITER
Fifty-three cases of syphilis have been reported in the last six months, mostly among gay and bisexual men in Los Angeles County, bringing the tally in the outbreak that began last March to 144 cases. Most of the infections, however, are not new. They seem to have occurred around the beginning of last year, signaling to public health officials and AIDS activists that the outbreak has been contained.
NEWS
May 17, 1991 | MARLENE CIMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The nation's syphilis rate last year was the highest since 1949 and represented a 75% increase from 1985, federal health officials reported Thursday. "This is like going back to the pre-penicillin years," said Dr. Allyn Nakashima, referring to the drug that cures the sexually transmitted disease. Contrary to nationwide trends, the rates in several cities, including Los Angeles, actually declined.
OPINION
October 5, 2010
What else don't we know about the U.S. government's unethical history of experimenting on human beings? A Wellesley College professor investigating the infamous Tuskegee study, in which black American men with syphilis were intentionally left untreated for decades to trace the course of the disease, recently uncovered a similar experiment that U.S. public health doctors conducted in Guatemala during the 1940s. In this horrific study, which lasted two years, about 1,500 prisoners, mental patients, soldiers and prostitutes were deliberately infected with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, then given penicillin to test the antibiotic's effectiveness as a treatment.
NATIONAL
October 1, 2010 | Reuters
The United States apologized Friday for an experiment in the 1940s in which government researchers deliberately infected Guatemalan prison inmates, women and mental patients with syphilis. In the experiment, aimed at testing the then-new drug penicillin, inmates were infected by prostitutes and later treated with the antibiotic. "The sexually transmitted disease inoculation study conducted from 1946-1948 in Guatemala was clearly unethical," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.
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