Syphilis on the Rise as Koreans Get More Promiscuous

  • By Hong Jun-ki

    October 23, 2018 12:17

    Syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise among young Koreans as social mores change.

    The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the spread is due to increasing promiscuity among people in their 20s and 30s as people tend to marry later.

    Cases of syphilis surged almost threefold from 776 in 2013 to 2,138 last year. Syphilis is transmitted via ulcers that form on the genitalia and causes fevers, headaches and eventually damage to the internal organs. It can be cured with antibiotics.

    People in their 20s accounted for 37 percent of all syphilis infections last year with 787, up from 258 in 2013.

    Data from the military shows that the number of conscripts who tested positive for syphilis rose from 38 in 2013 to 201 in 2017. The CDC said it educates new conscripts on prevention and early detection of sexually transmitted diseases.

    Over the same period, the number of syphilis cases among people in their 30s rose from 186 to 499 and among people in their 40s from 138 to 322. Among the over-60s it also rose from just eight to 116.

    Total cases of sexually transmitted diseases rose from 10,640 in 2013 to 27,277 last year. 

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