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.
Gates Foundation blog examines efforts to stop mother-to-child syphilis transmission

Gates Foundation blog examines efforts to stop mother-to-child syphilis transmission

HIV drug resistance: an interview with Dr. Silvia Bertagnolio

HIV drug resistance: an interview with Dr. Silvia Bertagnolio

First Edition: June 19, 2012

First Edition: June 19, 2012

WHO calls for greater vigilance on correct use of antibiotics against gonorrhoea

WHO calls for greater vigilance on correct use of antibiotics against gonorrhoea

Bangladesh may be facing HIV epidemic, Inter Press Service reports

Bangladesh may be facing HIV epidemic, Inter Press Service reports

Treating prenatal maternal infections could improve birth outcomes, study suggests

Treating prenatal maternal infections could improve birth outcomes, study suggests

Dual prevalence of STIs/RTIs and malaria in pregnancy found among women in sub-Saharan Africa

Dual prevalence of STIs/RTIs and malaria in pregnancy found among women in sub-Saharan Africa

Phone credits offered to teenagers in exchange for sexual health checks

Phone credits offered to teenagers in exchange for sexual health checks

UCLA develops compact and cost-effective RDT-reading device

UCLA develops compact and cost-effective RDT-reading device

Honduras becomes first LAC country to launch national plan to combat NTDs

Honduras becomes first LAC country to launch national plan to combat NTDs

AIDS survey preliminary data show stagnation in Uganda's HIV prevalence, need for improved prevention strategies, experts say

AIDS survey preliminary data show stagnation in Uganda's HIV prevalence, need for improved prevention strategies, experts say

Misconception that syphilis has 'disappeared' presents major impediment to preventing infant deaths

Misconception that syphilis has 'disappeared' presents major impediment to preventing infant deaths

Inexpensive test, treatment for syphilis could save nearly 1M infants annually

Inexpensive test, treatment for syphilis could save nearly 1M infants annually

HHS to spend nearly $1.8M to review research volunteer rules, fight STDs in Guatemala; DOJ asks related lawsuit to be dismissed

HHS to spend nearly $1.8M to review research volunteer rules, fight STDs in Guatemala; DOJ asks related lawsuit to be dismissed

Columbus’s crew may have brought back syphilis: Study

Columbus’s crew may have brought back syphilis: Study

Current U.S. rules, regulations sufficient to protect volunteers in federally funded research, report says

Current U.S. rules, regulations sufficient to protect volunteers in federally funded research, report says

More evidence emerges to support that progenitor of syphilis came from the New World

More evidence emerges to support that progenitor of syphilis came from the New World

Percentage of pregnant women living with HIV in South Africa increases, survey suggests

Percentage of pregnant women living with HIV in South Africa increases, survey suggests

Annual report on sexually transmitted infections reveals rising trends

Annual report on sexually transmitted infections reveals rising trends

HIV and syphilis on the rise among MSM

HIV and syphilis on the rise among MSM