The Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of the Epidemic of Syphilis in Barcelona

M. Arando, E. Caballero, A. Curran, P. Armengol, M. J. Barberá, M. Vall-Mayans

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6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 AEDV Background: Since 2000, substantial increases in syphilis have been reported in metropolitan areas of Western countries, with increases noted among men who have sex with men (MSM). Clinical manifestations of syphilis might be influenced by concomitant VIH infection and previous episodes of syphilis. The objectives of this study were to describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the cases of syphilis diagnosed in Barcelona. Methods: Retrospective study of cases with early syphilis diagnosed in the referral STI Unit of Barcelona from January 2003 to December 2013. Revision of medical records with structured collection of epidemiological and clinical data. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses comparing the characteristics of MSM cases with and without VIH infection and with and without previous syphilis. Results: A total of 1702 cases of syphilis (37% primary, 48% secondary and 14% early latent) were diagnosed, 93% of them in MSM. Among MSM 40% were coinfected with VIH, VIH-positive cases were associated with a previous syphilis (aOR, 5.2 [95% CI, 3.32-8.24]) and with unprotected anal intercourse (aOR, 1.75 [95%CI, 1.17-2.63]). Cases with a history of syphilis presented less often with primary syphilis compared to those without it (27.5% vs. 40%) (aOR, 0.58 [95% CI, 0.44-0.77]). One year after treatment, the clinical and serological evolution were similar between VIH-positive and VIH-negative cases. Conclusion: The epidemic of syphilis in Barcelona disproportionately affects MSM and is closelly linked to VIH infection. The presentation of syphilis is influenced by VIH infection and by previous history of syphilis, without significant differences in their evolution after one year of treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActas Dermo-Sifiliograficas
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Early syphilis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Previous syphilis
  • Serological response


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