While syphilis cases and rates have grown in many parts of the world, including the US, England and Japan, health officials in Denmark are reporting cases remained stable from 2015 to 2016.
According to the Statens Serum Institut- SSI (computer translated), 742 notifications of newly acquired syphilis was reported in 720 persons in 2016. In 2015, there were 777 registered cases.
A total of 684 (92%) of cases occurred among 664 men and 56 (8%) among 54 adult women, with 20 men and two women having two cases during the year. The majority of those notified were men who have sex with men (MSM).
Of the 56 women, 11 cases were detected during pregnancy screening.
Two cases of congenital syphilis were found. In one case, the mother tested positive for syphilis when she gave birth. She had immigrated to Denmark a few days earlier and had therefore not participated in the screening. The new-born child had congenital syphilis. The second case was a 6-year-old who was born in Denmark before the introduction of the general screening.
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Officials with the SSI note, frequent testing can help break chains of transmission and thus contribute to reduce the number of cases. All MSM are recommended annual tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and MSM who lead an active sex life and who do not always use a condom are recommended testing 2-4 times annually.
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