Syphilis News and Research

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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.
Primary care doctors ‘not doing enough’ to curb STDs

Primary care doctors ‘not doing enough’ to curb STDs

Scientists perform successful trial of new antibiotic on cancer reoccurrence after surgery

Scientists perform successful trial of new antibiotic on cancer reoccurrence after surgery

Risk-profiling can help improve preventive measures against HIV

Risk-profiling can help improve preventive measures against HIV

New born syphilis on the rise sparking concerns

New born syphilis on the rise sparking concerns

Scientists find wild African monkeys infected with bacterium that causes syphilis, yaws in humans

Scientists find wild African monkeys infected with bacterium that causes syphilis, yaws in humans

Must-reads of the week from Brianna Labuskes

Must-reads of the week from Brianna Labuskes

New Euro-GASP program monitors continued effectiveness of treatment regimen for gonorrhea

New Euro-GASP program monitors continued effectiveness of treatment regimen for gonorrhea

STD rates are skyrocketing in USA

STD rates are skyrocketing in USA

Ocular Syphilis study finds increasing numbers of people at risk for permanent vision damage

Ocular Syphilis study finds increasing numbers of people at risk for permanent vision damage

Condoms should not be reused warns CDC

Condoms should not be reused warns CDC

The ‘perfect storm’: Redirecting family planning funds could undercut STD fight

The ‘perfect storm’: Redirecting family planning funds could undercut STD fight

PrEP uptake on the rise and condom use declines in gay men

PrEP uptake on the rise and condom use declines in gay men

Syphilis and gonorrhea on the rise in England

Syphilis and gonorrhea on the rise in England

California’s deadly STD epidemic sets record

California’s deadly STD epidemic sets record

SpeeDx signs distribution agreement with Serosep to strengthen sales in the UK and Ireland

SpeeDx signs distribution agreement with Serosep to strengthen sales in the UK and Ireland

'Treatment as prevention' method can limit HIV transmission, perspective suggests

'Treatment as prevention' method can limit HIV transmission, perspective suggests

Study reveals new strategy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus

Study reveals new strategy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus

Short- and long-term ADHD medication users have lower risk of STIs, study finds

Short- and long-term ADHD medication users have lower risk of STIs, study finds

UK study finds that e-STI testing nearly doubles testing uptake

UK study finds that e-STI testing nearly doubles testing uptake

WHO certifies elimination of mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmission in six Caribbean territories

WHO certifies elimination of mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmission in six Caribbean territories