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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (February 9, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---The rate of two sexually transmitted diseases -- syphilis and gonorrhea --increased significantly from 1999 to 2000, Ministry of Health statistics show.

Although the number is relatively small, health officials indicate that the number of confirmed cases normally reflects just a fraction of the actual incidence of the health problem.

Ministry of Health statistics show that the number of syphilis cases rose sharply for men, from 11 positive in 1999 to 25 last year. The number of women’s cases increased from 53 to 64.

It is teenage males, age 15-19, where the biggest increase was seen, rising from just four in 1999 to 14 last year.

Meanwhile, gonorrhea also showed a small rise: for women, the number of cases increased from two to four, and men from 16 to 18.

Chlamydia, a less well known STD affecting women, appeared to be on the decline with 81 cases report in 1999, but just 40 last year.

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail:  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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