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.
Diagnostics Direct introduces CLIA approved diagnostic test, Syphilis Health Check

Diagnostics Direct introduces CLIA approved diagnostic test, Syphilis Health Check

Researchers reveal obstacles that prevent Ugandans with RHD from getting life-saving penicillin

Researchers reveal obstacles that prevent Ugandans with RHD from getting life-saving penicillin

San Francisco AIDS Foundation unveils new mobile testing unit

San Francisco AIDS Foundation unveils new mobile testing unit

Researchers develop smartphone accessory for rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases at point of care

Researchers develop smartphone accessory for rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases at point of care

New diagnostic system describes symptoms using the image of patient's tongue

New diagnostic system describes symptoms using the image of patient's tongue

New study documents health dangers of male sex trade in Mexico City

New study documents health dangers of male sex trade in Mexico City

Ebola outbreak emphasizes the importance of monitoring disease burden in developing countries

Ebola outbreak emphasizes the importance of monitoring disease burden in developing countries

First three recipients of inaugural Harry Winston Fellowships named

First three recipients of inaugural Harry Winston Fellowships named

Rice University researchers confirm potent synthesis of natural tetracycline

Rice University researchers confirm potent synthesis of natural tetracycline

MedMira adds three new rapid vertical flow tests to Multiplo product line

MedMira adds three new rapid vertical flow tests to Multiplo product line

Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

Chemclin's Anti-TP assay provides components for in-vitro qualitative determination of Anti-TP

Chemclin's Anti-TP assay provides components for in-vitro qualitative determination of Anti-TP

Viewpoints: Political stand-off on insurance industry safeguards; VA's problems may lie in how government works

Viewpoints: Political stand-off on insurance industry safeguards; VA's problems may lie in how government works

HealthHIV: Nearly 50% of primary care providers lack knowledge about HIV treatment

HealthHIV: Nearly 50% of primary care providers lack knowledge about HIV treatment

Informed consent is not required for certain health research, say bioethics experts

Informed consent is not required for certain health research, say bioethics experts

AHF opens new Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn in partnership with GMAD

AHF opens new Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn in partnership with GMAD

HIV test for new inmates may not yield new diagnoses, says study

HIV test for new inmates may not yield new diagnoses, says study

New evidence shows probiotics offer enormous potential for treatment of depression

New evidence shows probiotics offer enormous potential for treatment of depression

Stop L.A. Corruption: A new awareness campaign that highlights failures of LA County

Stop L.A. Corruption: A new awareness campaign that highlights failures of LA County

HIV risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing shows no reduction in STI rates

HIV risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing shows no reduction in STI rates