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Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 1.46.29 PMA new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report finds that syphilis cases have doubled in the U.S. since 2005 – with 16,663 new infections in 2013 and 91 percent of the cases being men.

The CDC adds that most of the new cases were among men who have sex with other men and cautions that this is “a major public-health concern, particularly because syphilis and the behaviors associated with acquiring it increase the likelihood of acquiring and transmitting HIV.”

Left untreated, the infection can cause serious brain and nerve damage. The CDC recommends safer sex practices and increased STD screening.

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