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.
Syphilis cases in California drive a record-setting year for STDs nationwide

Syphilis cases in California drive a record-setting year for STDs nationwide

Stop blaming Tuskegee, critics say. It’s not an ‘excuse’ for current medical racism.

Stop blaming Tuskegee, critics say. It’s not an ‘excuse’ for current medical racism.

Inmates’ distrust of prison health care fuels distrust of Covid vaccines

Inmates’ distrust of prison health care fuels distrust of Covid vaccines

Undocumented pregnant women in Finland receive inadequate prenatal care, study shows

Undocumented pregnant women in Finland receive inadequate prenatal care, study shows

Online platforms can increase drug overdose

Online platforms can increase drug overdose

Covid cases plummet 83% among nursing home staffers despite vaccine hesitancy

Covid cases plummet 83% among nursing home staffers despite vaccine hesitancy

Pooling COVID-19 tests to detect future outbreaks

Pooling COVID-19 tests to detect future outbreaks

Farmworker camps to urban tent cities: Tailoring vaccine info to where it’s most needed

Farmworker camps to urban tent cities: Tailoring vaccine info to where it’s most needed

Black Americans are getting vaccinated at lower rates than white Americans

Black Americans are getting vaccinated at lower rates than white Americans

With few takers for COVID vaccine, DC hospital CEO takes ‘one for the team’

With few takers for COVID vaccine, DC hospital CEO takes ‘one for the team’

Accurate STI reporting impacted by clinical focus on COVID-19

Accurate STI reporting impacted by clinical focus on COVID-19

VA joins Pentagon in recruiting volunteers for COVID vaccine trials

VA joins Pentagon in recruiting volunteers for COVID vaccine trials

Research finds increase in risky sexual behavior and STIs despite COVID-19 pandemic

Research finds increase in risky sexual behavior and STIs despite COVID-19 pandemic

Readers and tweeters shed light on vaccine trials and bias in health care

Readers and tweeters shed light on vaccine trials and bias in health care

Sexually active students more likely to use STI self-testing services

Sexually active students more likely to use STI self-testing services

Black doctors work to make coronavirus testing more equitable

Black doctors work to make coronavirus testing more equitable

Hard lives made harder by COVID: Homeless endure a ‘slow-moving train wreck’

Hard lives made harder by COVID: Homeless endure a ‘slow-moving train wreck’

New report estimates the global burden of stillbirths

New report estimates the global burden of stillbirths

Bioarchaeology research shows how infectious diseases may have spread 4000 years ago

Bioarchaeology research shows how infectious diseases may have spread 4000 years ago

Ineffective immune responses may be responsible for COVID-19 mortality rates in men and the elderly

Ineffective immune responses may be responsible for COVID-19 mortality rates in men and the elderly