Indonesian health officials report a 75 percent increase in syphilis cases since 2016. According to a health ministry spokesperson, there were 12,000 cases of syphilis in 2016. The number skyrocketed to around 21,000 cases in 2022.
The surge in cases is attributed to risky sexual behavior, the spokesperson stated.
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Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) that can cause long-term complications if not treated correctly. Symptoms of syphilis in adults include a painless sore that will go away without treatment followed by a non-itchy body rash. If left untreated syphilis can lead to damage through the body including neurological and cardiovascular complications. Syphilis also increases the risk of HIV infection and, for women, can cause problems during pregnancy and for the newborn.
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