Teenagers are testing positive for HIV and syphilis in large numbers in this city

by Elise Solé for Yahoo Lifestyle

At least 125 people — including a dozen high school kids — in Milwaukee have been infected with HIV, syphilis, or both in one of the biggest outbreaks ever reported in the city.

According to Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel, which broke the story on Tuesday, the outbreak has been identified as a “cluster,” meaning a large number of people have become infected in a particular time and place.

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“This is an epidemic people are not talking about enough, and it leads to people taking unnecessary risks,” public health consultant Melissa Ugland told the Journal Sentinel. Those involved may have all connected with one another during a 12-month period, added Ugland, who could not be reached for comment by Yahoo Lifestyle. Many of the infected are men, 45 percent of which are HIV-positive, according to Ugland and other health care advocates.

Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Milwaukee Health Department did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

A representative from Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) sent the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle: “In December, the Milwaukee Health Department informed Milwaukee Public Schools that the entire city is experiencing an increase Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in 15-24-year-olds.

Because schools have a significant number of students in the 15-18 age group, we are working with the Milwaukee Health Department, in a collaborative and preventive effort, to share information with young people in middle schools and high schools to keep them healthy and to protect their health.”