Epidemiology

Syphilis is a common STI. There were an estimated 6 million new cases of syphilis worldwide in 2016.[8] 

In 2017, the incidence rate of primary and secondary syphilis was 9.5 cases in 100,000 population (30,644 new cases).[9] This represents a 10.5% increase from 2016 (8.6 cases in 100,000 population), and a 72.2% increase from 2013 (5.5 cases in 100,000 population). Over half (57.9%) of all reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis occurred in men who have sex with men (MSM). The incidence rate of primary and secondary syphilis was 16.9 cases in 100,000 men in 2017, and 2.3 cases in 100,000 women.[9] In men, the incidence rate was highest in the age group 25-29 years, followed by age groups 20-24 years and 30-34 years (incidence was similar in these two age groups). In women, the highest rate was in the age group 20-24 years, followed by age group 25-29 years.

In 2017, the incidence rate of primary and secondary syphilis was highest in black people (24.2 cases in 100,000 population).[9]  The incidence rate in black people was 4.5 times higher than in white people (5.4 cases in 100,000 population). From 2013-2017, rates have increased among all race/ethnicity groups. Between 2016-2017, the greatest increase was observed among American Indians/Alaska Natives (38.8%), and those identified as multiracial (31.7%), followed by Asians (15.7%), white people (10.2%), Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders (9.4%), Hispanics (9.3%), and black people (5.7%).[9] 

The incidence of congenital syphilis in 2017 was 23.3 cases in 100,000 live births (628 cases); a 43.8% increase from 2016 (16.2 cases in 100,000 live births) and a 153.3% increase from 2013 (9.2 cases in 100,000 live births).[9]

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