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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It has often been called “the great imitator” because so many of the signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases.

In the United States, health officials reported over 36,000 cases of syphilis in 2006, including 9,756 cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis. In 2006, half of all P&S syphilis cases were reported from 20 counties and 2 cities; and most P&S syphilis cases occurred in persons 20 to 39 years of age. The incidence of P&S syphilis was highest in women 20 to 24 years of age and in men 35 to 39 years of age. Reported cases of congenital syphilis in newborns increased from 2005 to 2006, with 339 new cases reported in 2005 compared to 349 cases in 2006.

Between 2005 and 2006, the number of reported P&S syphilis cases increased 11.8 percent. P&S rates have increased in males each year between 2000 and 2006 from 2.6 to 5.7 and among females between 2004 and 2006. In 2006, 64% of the reported P&S syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying. Syphilis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.
People with lymphatic filariasis more likely to acquire HIV infection, study shows

People with lymphatic filariasis more likely to acquire HIV infection, study shows

People infected with a parasitic worm called Wuchereria bancrofti in areas where HIV is endemic may be more likely to acquire HIV than people who are not infected with the worm, according to a new study in southwest Tanzania, published in The Lancet. [More]
First clinical study for Zika vaccine to begin in Canada

First clinical study for Zika vaccine to begin in Canada

Université Laval's Infectious Disease Research Centre and Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval are proud to announce that the first clinical study for a Zika vaccine in Canada is set to begin in Quebec City. [More]
Researchers identify shingles as persistent risk factor for stroke

Researchers identify shingles as persistent risk factor for stroke

The study by researchers from the Department of Neurology at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine in Seoul showed that herpes zoster infection not only raised the risk of ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke but also that of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), a warning mini-stroke often preceding a full-blown stroke. [More]
Thailand certified free of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis

Thailand certified free of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis

Thailand has been officially certified free of the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mothers to their children. [More]
Screening for syphilis in persons at risk for infection provides substantial benefit

Screening for syphilis in persons at risk for infection provides substantial benefit

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has found convincing evidence that screening for syphilis infection in asymptomatic, nonpregnant persons at increased risk for infection provides substantial benefit. The report appears in the June 7 issue of JAMA. [More]
Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly comes to end after approving many new resolutions

Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly comes to end after approving many new resolutions

The Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly closed today after approving new resolutions on WHO's Framework for Engagement with Non-State Actors; the Sustainable Development Goals; the International Health Regulations; tobacco control; road traffic deaths and injuries; nutrition; HIV, hepatitis and STIs; mycetoma; research and development; access to medicines and integrated health services. [More]
Researchers find link between BPD and risk of STI/HIV in male inmates

Researchers find link between BPD and risk of STI/HIV in male inmates

Sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV, disproportionately affect incarcerated populations. In 2010, over 90% of the inmates living with HIV in U.S. prisons were men and the prevalence of STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, continues to be much higher among male inmates as compared to the U.S. population at large. [More]
Spread of STIs, peer pressure may have transformed prehistoric humans to monogamists

Spread of STIs, peer pressure may have transformed prehistoric humans to monogamists

Prehistoric humans may have developed social norms that favour monogamy and punish polygamy thanks to the presence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and peer pressure, according to new research from the University of Waterloo in Canada. [More]
Research on multiple sexual behaviors among men is lacking

Research on multiple sexual behaviors among men is lacking

Sexual health research focused on men who have sex with men is lacking, according to health researchers, even in the midst of rising rates of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in this population. [More]
Zika virus can cross the placental barrier, according to new study

Zika virus can cross the placental barrier, according to new study

A study of pregnant women in Brazil has confirmed the presence of Zika virus in the amniotic fluid of two women who had displayed Zika-like symptoms during their pregnancies. [More]
Falls in stillbirth rates failing to keep pace with childhood, maternal mortality rates

Falls in stillbirth rates failing to keep pace with childhood, maternal mortality rates

Approximately 2.6 million babies were stillborn in 2015, or around 7200 every day globally. Falls in stillbirth rates since the year 2000 are failing to keep pace with falls in childhood and maternal mortality rates, say the authors of The Lancet’s new Ending preventable stillbirths Series. [More]
Study shows slow global progress on stillbirth prevention leaves over 2.6 million babies at risk each year

Study shows slow global progress on stillbirth prevention leaves over 2.6 million babies at risk each year

More than 2.6 million stillbirths continue to occur globally every year with very slow progress made to tackle this 'silent problem', according to new research published in The Lancet. Despite significant reductions in the number of maternal and child deaths, there has been little change in the number of stillbirths (in the third trimester of pregnancy) even though the majority are preventable. [More]
Increasing alcohol taxes decreases gonorrhea rates by 24% in Maryland

Increasing alcohol taxes decreases gonorrhea rates by 24% in Maryland

Increasing state alcohol taxes could help prevent sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, according to University of Florida Health researchers, who found that gonorrhea rates decreased by 24 percent in Maryland after the state increased its sales tax on alcohol in 2011. [More]
Generex agrees to acquire 51% equity interest in Hema Diagnostic Systems

Generex agrees to acquire 51% equity interest in Hema Diagnostic Systems

Generex Biotechnology Corporation today announced that it has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with Hema Diagnostic Systems, LLC (HDS), a Florida company that designs and manufactures proprietary infectious disease detection technologies. [More]
Alere doubles commitment to support OAFLA in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and EID

Alere doubles commitment to support OAFLA in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and EID

Alere, a global leader in rapid diagnostics, today doubled its commitment to the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS in its efforts to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa by eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and increasing early infant diagnosis (EID). [More]
UN reports that more needs to be done so all children are born HIV and syphilis free in Asia-Pacific region

UN reports that more needs to be done so all children are born HIV and syphilis free in Asia-Pacific region

The Asia–Pacific region has made significant progress in efforts to eliminate HIV and syphilis, but thousands of mothers and children have yet to feel the benefits. [More]
HIV prevention program undergoes “real world” evaluation

HIV prevention program undergoes “real world” evaluation

A programme that provides pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection among sexually active gay men has not seen one case of HIV infection since it began in 2012, according to the first “real world” evaluation of the regimen at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center. [More]
Mexican engineer designs new ring that can help diagnose sexually transmitted diseases

Mexican engineer designs new ring that can help diagnose sexually transmitted diseases

A ring with the ability to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis was designed by the Mexican Ernesto Rodríguez Leal. [More]
New review points to most promising areas for liposomes' further development

New review points to most promising areas for liposomes' further development

An international group of scientists, including Vladimir Chupin, head of the Biophysics Section at MIPT, and Vladimir Torchilin (Northeastern University, the USA), one of the world's leading experts in pharmacology, recently presented a review of liposomes, microscopic capsules widely used all over the world in the development of new drugs. [More]
Human breast milk bought online poses serious health risks

Human breast milk bought online poses serious health risks

The recent craze for human breast milk, which has become a lucrative online market, poses serious health risks, according to British experts. [More]
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