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The recent syphilis outbreak among adult film performers in Los Angeles has shed light on the dangers of this sexually transmitted infections (STI). This surge in syphilis cases forced the porn industry to shut down, and has caused health officials to stress the importance of practicing safer sex. Using condoms greatly decreases a person's risk of contracting or passing on an STI, which is why there have been laws proposed that require adult film stars to wear them.
Recently, Las Vegas Weekly published an article offering tips to people who are concerned that they might have syphilis, and a list of some famous people who have found themselves with the STI.
According to the news source, Al Capone, Paul Gauguin and Scott Joplin all died of syphilis, and it has long been suspected that Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde also met their demise because they had the STI.
"If you get tested for syphilis and the result is positive, your health care provider must notify public health authorities, who will then, hopefully, work to notify your sexual partners. It sounds bad, but it’s much better than the alternative (i.e., not being treated). Don’t believe me? Do a quick [internet] search for 'syphilis infection' and see for yourself," stated the information provider.
That search would show that untreated syphilis is incredibly dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the final stages of syphilis can last for years and have no symptoms. However, by this stage, the STI can damage the internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes and heart. Eventually, an untreated syphilis infection can lead to death.
This should encourage anyone who is practicing unprotected sex to visit an STI testing center.
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