Riverside County Board of Supervisors Accepts Funds for Syphilis Program
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to accept $103,000 from the Department of Health Services to fund syphilis prevention efforts that include a media campaign and increased testing, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. About $75,000 of the funds will go to the Desert AIDS Project for community outreach and education efforts, including the development of a syphilis elimination task force. The remaining $28,000 will fund increased testing and the purchase of supplies and laboratory equipment. The reported number of early syphilis cases in the county increased to 75 for the first three quarters of 2003 from 17 for the same period in 2001. In addition, the total number of early syphilis cases is expected to reach 92 for all of 2003, the Press-Enterprise reports (Coronado, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/7). "That really represents an epidemic," Dr. Gary Feldman, Riverside County health director, said. Feldman said that the prevention efforts also would include encouraging those getting HIV tests to also get a syphilis test. Much of the outreach and education would be in the Palm Springs area, where the outbreak is centered, the Press-Enterprise reports (Coronado, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.