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It is estimated that almost 8% of men who have sex with men have syphilis worldwide.

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Led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Avenir Health, the research team conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of syphilis prevalence in MSM from 2000 to 2020. We conducted an analysis. We use data from 275 studies involving more than 600,000 study participants in 77 countries.

Global prevalence of syphilis Among MSMs, it was 15 times higher than the latest estimates for men in the general population (7.5% vs. 0.5%). Researchers also estimated prevalence across eight regions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and six regions of WHO. The prevalence of syphilis was highest in Latin America and the Caribbean (10.6%) and lowest in Australia and New Zealand (1.9%). Therefore, there is an urgent need to quantify the burden of syphilis in this high-risk group.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STI) caused by Treponema pallidum. Once diagnosed, syphilis is easily treated with penicillin. One study found that annual screening and treatment of at least 62% of sexually active MSM was required to achieve topical removal.

Dr. Matthew Chico, associate professor and lead author of LSHTM, said: “Men tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to testing and treating syphilis. Women are regularly tested for syphilis during their first antenatal care visit and are tested in family planning. In general, men are as many as women. Without contact with the medical system, MSM faces additional barriers due to stigma and shame.

“As the disease progresses, syphilis is terribly deceptive. In the primary and secondary stages of infection, skin lesions such as chancres and rashes appear and then disappear as if the person had healed. Unfortunately, no treatment. In, bacteria slowly invade the internal organs and can lead to body deformity, loss of vision, deception and even death. There is no good reason for this to happen. We have effective treatments. “

Dr. Motoyuki Tsuboi of LSHTM and the lead author of the study said: “WHO’s Global Health Sector Strategy has an ambitious goal of reducing global syphilis incidence by 90% between 2018 and 2030. Syphilis estimates in MSM act as catalysts for action. I will. “

In this new study, pooled estimates of MSM syphilis were highest in areas with HIV positive rates above 5% (8.7%). Low- and middle-income countries also had a heavy burden (8.7%). Low-income countries had the lowest estimated prevalence of syphilis among men who have sex with men (3.8%).Estimates of syphilis prevalence are for male sex workers, transgender women, and Transgender women Sex worker.

In studies conducted from 2000 to 2009 and 2010 to 2020, the global prevalence of syphilis was estimated to be 8.9% and 6.6%, respectively. However, four of the eight SDG regions (Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Oceania) [excluding Australia and New Zealand])-Shows higher estimates between 2015 and 2020 than in 2010 and 2014.

“The prevalence of syphilis in MSM appears to be particularly increasing at the global and SDG regional levels, with high HIV-positive rates in low- and middle-income countries, and high-income countries,” said Dr. Tsuboi. It’s unacceptably expensive. Urgent action is needed. “

Researchers say it is difficult to know if the prevalence of syphilis in MSM is altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there is evidence that the pandemic affected MSM sexual activity, MSM has difficulty accessing STI testing and treatment due to COVID-19 and is diagnosed, treated, and removed from the MSM population. There are also reports that cases of syphilis may be reduced.

Eloise Stonborough, Associate Director of Policy Research at Stonewall, said: “Sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, can cause serious health problems if left untreated. These numbers provide important insights into the prevalence of syphilis infections in men. LGBTQ + people and risks. It is important that everyone, including those with high health, be supported to understand how to protect themselves from syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases.

“It’s also important that health care services are comprehensive and welcoming to all lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and queer people so that everyone can rest assured that they will get the help and support they need. can do.”

The authors include the fact that East and Southeast Asia account for 55% of the world’s data points, most of which come from China, where the prevalence of syphilis in MSM was slightly higher than the global total. I acknowledge the limits of my research. This has the effect of slightly upwardly distorting pooled prevalence estimates. Another limitation is that one-third of the data points rely on expedient sampling.


Patients with end-stage renal disease at high risk of syphilis


For more information:
Motoyuki Tsuboi, Jayne Evans, Ella P Davies, Jane Rowley, Eline L Korenromp, Tim Clayton, Melanie M Taylor, David Mabey, R Matthew Chico Prevalence of syphilis among men having sex with men: 2000-20 years Global systematic review and meta-analysis up to. Lancet Global Health.. DOI: 10.1016 / S2214-109X (21) 00221-7

Quote: Almost 8% (July 8, 2021) of men who have sex with men who are estimated to have syphilis worldwide are https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-men-sex Obtained July 8, 2021 from -syphilis-globally.html

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It is estimated that almost 8% of men who have sex with men have syphilis worldwide.

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