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.
Europe reports the highest ever levels of syphilis

Europe reports the highest ever levels of syphilis

Columbia study aims to understand barriers to inclusion of ethnic minorities in genetic research

Columbia study aims to understand barriers to inclusion of ethnic minorities in genetic research

How black pharmacists are closing the cultural gap in health care

How black pharmacists are closing the cultural gap in health care

A million a day: STIs are a worldwide epidemic, declares WHO

A million a day: STIs are a worldwide epidemic, declares WHO

Safe sex an elusive target; STIs continue to rise in England

Safe sex an elusive target; STIs continue to rise in England

Newsom changes course on plan to pay for immigrant health coverage

Newsom changes course on plan to pay for immigrant health coverage

NIH announces awards to advance development of vaccines for sexually transmitted infections

NIH announces awards to advance development of vaccines for sexually transmitted infections

UNC and partners receive NIH funding to identify chlamydia vaccine

UNC and partners receive NIH funding to identify chlamydia vaccine

A plan to cover immigrants would divert public health dollars

A plan to cover immigrants would divert public health dollars

United Nations sounds alarm bell on drug-resistant infections

United Nations sounds alarm bell on drug-resistant infections

As syphilis invades rural America, a fraying health safety net is failing to stop it

As syphilis invades rural America, a fraying health safety net is failing to stop it

Researchers discover new broad-spectrum antibiotic that contains arsenic

Researchers discover new broad-spectrum antibiotic that contains arsenic

Researchers describe a case of tick-borne relapsing fever in Mexico

Researchers describe a case of tick-borne relapsing fever in Mexico

Using a health information exchange network to enhance disease surveillance

Using a health information exchange network to enhance disease surveillance

Trump pledges to end HIV transmission by 2030. Doable, but daunting.

Trump pledges to end HIV transmission by 2030. Doable, but daunting.

A new treatment for Chlamydia via Canadian researchers

A new treatment for Chlamydia via Canadian researchers

An underused strategy for surge in STDs: Treat patients’ partners without a doctor visit

An underused strategy for surge in STDs: Treat patients’ partners without a doctor visit

Global leaders in medical and surgical eye care to convene in Chicago to attend AAO 2018

Global leaders in medical and surgical eye care to convene in Chicago to attend AAO 2018

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