JACKSON, MS (Ben Caxton) — According to the state department of health, new cases of syphilis tripled in Mississippi between 2013 and 2016. Most at risk are gay and bisexual black men and women. Women infected with syphilis during pregnancy run the risk of their baby dying or being born with major birth defects. Advanced syphilis can invade major organs and cause debilitating illness or death. But when detected early, it’s easy to treat and cure.