In 2015 our country reported 11.5 confirmed syphilis cases per 100 000 population, which is one of the highest rates in Europe. The objective of our study was to analyse the epidemiological characteristics of patients diagnosed with syphilis.Methods
A retrospective analysis of medical records of patients attending the local GUC with a diagnosis of syphilis from 2002–2015 was carried out. Data concerning patient demographics (age, gender and sexual orientation), year of diagnosis, syphilis stage, treatment regime, HIV/STIs co-infections, partner notification and follow up were recorded.Methods
Data collected was inputted in an excel database.Results
In the study period a total of 291 patients were diagnosed with syphilis. 82.6% were males (n=238); 48.6%( n=143) were MSM and 5.2% (n=5) bisexual men. Syphilis was diagnosed in the primary stage in 11.3% of patients, secondary in 9.6%, early latent in 30.9% and late latent in 47.4%. All patients with syphilis were tested for HIV and 16.1% (n=147) resulted HIV positive, 74.5% of them (n=35) were MSM. Partner notification was not possible and/or not reported in 40.5% (n=118) of patients. In 21% (n=61) of cases, it was not possible to establish whether the treatment was successful because these were lost to follow up.Discussion
As the syphilis rates continue to rise so rapidly, it is very important to have robust mechanisms in place to limit spread such as proactive recall for treatment and follow up and education and support regarding safer sexual practices.