Health officials address STD outbreak across Milwaukee

NOW: Health officials address STD outbreak across Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A cluster of HIV cases are being reported across Milwaukee. Now, the Health Department admits this latest outbreak has affected nearly 130 people.

Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia McManus says the focus now is to encourage people to get tested to prevent another outbreak.

The outbreak was discovered late last year when Bevin Baker was commissioner. This is now the first time that the Health Department is publicly addressing the problem. 

Here is a breakdown of the numbers:

  • 19 people tested positive for Syphilis and negative for HIV
  • 24 people had both infections
  • 33 people tested positive for HIV but negative for Syphilis
  • 25 people tested negative for both
  • There are still 26 people who either couldn't be found to be tested or refused to be tested

"Hopefully we can work with the state to get information to health departments a lot faster so things can get done in a way that makes sense, even trying to get people information," said Dr. Patricia McManus.

Representatives from the Milwaukee Health Department also said that according to 2016 rankings, Milwaukee leads the nation in the number of cases of Gonorrhea with more than 4,000 diagnosed.

Milwaukee ranks fourth for Chlamidya with 9,725 cases.

Community leaders want to shift the focus to awareness.

"Some of our most vulnerable communities are the ones affected by this," said Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton.

In response to this, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin is offering extended testing hours at its main location on N. Plankinton Avenue. 

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