Social media impacts the rise of syphilis in Montana - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Social media impacts the rise of syphilis in Montana

Posted: Updated:

Syphilis is making an unexpected comeback in Montana.

There have been twenty-six cases confirmed in Montana already this year.

Jim Murphy, Bureau Chief of Communicable Disease Control in Montana said that twenty of the cases this year have been with males and the other six with females in Montana.

Jim explained that syphilis is most common with young homosexual males, specifically those who are twenty to thirty-nine years old, so the CDC is focusing their efforts on this high risk group.

Homosexual men account for nine of the twenty-six cases in Montana.

However, Jim said as the cases continue to come in they are seeing more heterosexual cases.

Jim believes social media has a large impact on the rise of syphilis.

He said that young people are using dating applications and websites to find sexual partners.

Jim said, "They may be coming into contact with more sexual partners. And then when public health intervenes and tries to do a follow up to try and figure out who is at risk, who was exposed, so we can offer them testing and treatment. Often those folks are not locatable."

This kind of behavior increases the risk because people are using these dating applications and websites to find random sexual partners and in most cases, don't know their medical history, which means many cases go unidentified.

Jim said this is most common with young homosexual men who use Grindr and Craigslist.

The Communicable Disease Control Center is working with prevention contractors in Montana to post awareness messages about syphilis on Grindr and Craigslist, to help stop this illness from spreading.

Jim said, “So as people are out there looking for their next partner, they can see a little bit of a message there that's telling them that syphilis is on the rise in Montana, and that they can learn about this and they can get tested."

The CDC is using the same platform of social media to help prevent this illness from spreading.

In order to protect yourself from getting syphilis, Jim said that it is important to always use protection and to limit your number of sexual partners.

Most of the cases have been reported in Yellowstone and Missoula counties.

Jim is not surprised because those areas are the most populated, so people can have more partners.

Jim said that it is important to know your own and your partners medical history to help prevent this illness from spreading.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missoula student is a Top 30 finalist for a nationwide STEM competition

    Missoula student is a Top 30 finalist for a nationwide STEM competition

    Thursday, September 21 2017 6:02 PM EDT2017-09-21 22:02:50 GMT

    Julian is a freshman at Hellgate High School and he will be traveling to Washington D.C. in late October for the final competition, where he will be competing for more than 100,000 dollars in awards.

    Julian is a freshman at Hellgate High School and he will be traveling to Washington D.C. in late October for the final competition, where he will be competing for more than 100,000 dollars in awards.

  • Coroner releases name of man killed in Missoula crash

    Coroner releases name of man killed in Missoula crash

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 5:01 PM EDT2017-09-20 21:01:29 GMT

    The Missoula County sheriff and coroner on Wednesday released the name of the man, who died after crashing a car into a shed in Missoula earlier this week.

    The Missoula County sheriff and coroner on Wednesday released the name of the man, who died after crashing a car into a shed in Missoula earlier this week.

  • Our Apologies

    The page you requested is currently unavailable. Pages on this site are constantly being revised, updated, and occasionally removed. You may have followed an outdated link or have outdated pages in your

    You have reached a page which is currently unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please use your browser's BACK button to return to the previous page

  • UM Presidential Finalist: Andrew Feinstein

    UM Presidential Finalist: Andrew Feinstein

    Thursday, September 21 2017 12:16 AM EDT2017-09-21 04:16:09 GMT

    UM's four presidential finalists are in town, this week and next, for on-campus interviews. We are taking a look at each finalist as they arrive in town. Monday, we showed you Mirta Martin, an advisor to former president of Mexico Vicente Fox.  Tonight, the second of the four finalists, Andrew Feinstein.

    UM's four presidential finalists are in town, this week and next, for on-campus interviews. We are taking a look at each finalist as they arrive in town. Monday, we showed you Mirta Martin, an advisor to former president of Mexico Vicente Fox.  Tonight, the second of the four finalists, Andrew Feinstein.

  • PHOTOS: Frida, the hero dog, hard at work rescuing people after earthquake in Mexico

    PHOTOS: Frida, the hero dog, hard at work rescuing people after earthquake in Mexico

    Thursday, September 21 2017 12:07 PM EDT2017-09-21 16:07:12 GMT

    MEXICO CITY - With dozens of saves already under her belt (collar?), Frida the Labrador Retriever is hard at work in Mexico trying to save people trapped in debris following a devastating earthquake this week.  A 7.1 earthquake has already killed nearly 250 people and injured more than 2,000 in Mexico. Search crews are using all possible means to search for survivors, including dogs like Frida. 

    MEXICO CITY - With dozens of saves already under her belt (collar?), Frida the Labrador Retriever is hard at work in Mexico trying to save people trapped in debris following a devastating earthquake this week.  A 7.1 earthquake has already killed nearly 250 people and injured more than 2,000 in Mexico. Search crews are using all possible means to search for survivors, including dogs like Frida. 

  • Growing season ends for many Montana vegetable farmers

    Growing season ends for many Montana vegetable farmers

    Friday, September 22 2017 8:02 PM EDT2017-09-23 00:02:31 GMT

    The first day of fall in Montana is feeling a lot like winter with much of the state seeing colder temperatures, wind, rain and even snow. But this sudden shift in weather means an abrupt end to the growing season for many of the state's vegetable farmers.

    The first day of fall in Montana is feeling a lot like winter with much of the state seeing colder temperatures, wind, rain and even snow. But this sudden shift in weather means an abrupt end to the growing season for many of the state's vegetable farmers.

  • UM Presidential Finalist: Seth Bodnar

    UM Presidential Finalist: Seth Bodnar

    Saturday, September 23 2017 12:16 AM EDT2017-09-23 04:16:46 GMT

    The four finalists for president of UM are in the middle of their on-campus interviews. We are profiling each one for you. This profile is on an unconventional candidate. These are the four finalists, Mirta Martin, an advisor to former Mexican president Vicente Fox. Charles Ambrose, president of University of Central Missouri. Andrew Feinstein, the provost at San Jose State. And Seth Bodnar, who is the subject of this profile. 

    The four finalists for president of UM are in the middle of their on-campus interviews. We are profiling each one for you. This profile is on an unconventional candidate. These are the four finalists, Mirta Martin, an advisor to former Mexican president Vicente Fox. Charles Ambrose, president of University of Central Missouri. Andrew Feinstein, the provost at San Jose State. And Seth Bodnar, who is the subject of this profile. 

  • Mike Goguen - Montana's real-life Batman

    Mike Goguen - Montana's real-life Batman

    Monday, March 27 2017 11:56 AM EDT2017-03-27 15:56:03 GMT

    Here is a story about a real-life Batman living right here in Western Montana. He's a venture capitalist and philanthropist by day - - but when his community calls, he puts on a disguise of sorts and takes to the sky to help others. He's a "billionaire to the rescue."

    Here is a story about a real-life Batman living right here in Western Montana. He's a venture capitalist and philanthropist by day - - but when his community calls, he puts on a disguise of sorts and takes to the sky to help others. He's a "billionaire to the rescue."