By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The global burden of syphilis among men who have sex with men (MSM) has been estimated for the first time in a new study published in The Lancet Global Health.

Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Avenir Health, the research team carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of syphilis prevalence among MSM between 2000 to 2020, drawing on data from 275 studies involving more than 600,000 study participants across 77 countries.

The worldwide prevalence of syphilis among MSM was 15x higher than most recent estimates for men in the general population (7.5% versus 0.5%). Researchers further estimated the prevalence across eight regions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and six regions of the WHO. Latin America and the Caribbean region had the highest prevalence of syphilis (10.6%), whereas Australia and New Zealand had the lowest (1.9%). There is, therefore, an urgent need to quantify the burden of syphilis in this high-risk group.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. When diagnosed, syphilis is easily treated with penicillin. One study found that annual screening and treatment of at least 62% of sexually active MSM is necessary to achieve local elimination.

Read more at LSHTM