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Am J Public Health. 2012 Jan;102(1):e1-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300383. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Repeat syphilis among men who have sex with men in California, 2002-2006: implications for syphilis elimination efforts.

Author information

1
Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA. stephanie.cohen@sfdph.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined rates of and risk factors for repeat syphilis infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in California.

METHODS:

We analyzed 2002 to 2006 California syphilis surveillance system data.

RESULTS:

During the study period, a mean of 5.9% (range: 4.9%-7.1% per year) of MSM had a repeat primary or secondary (PS) syphilis infection within 2 years of an initial infection. There was no significant increase in the annual proportion of MSM with a repeat syphilis infection (P = .42). In a multivariable model, factors associated with repeat syphilis infection were HIV infection (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.14, 2.37), Black race (OR = 1.84; 95% CI = 1.12, 3.04), and 10 or more recent sex partners (OR = 1.99; 95% CI = 1.12, 3.50).

CONCLUSIONS:

Approximately 6% of MSM in California have a repeat PS syphilis infection within 2 years of an initial infection. HIV infection, Black race, and having multiple sex partners are associated with increased odds of repeat infection. Syphilis elimination efforts should include messages about the risk for repeat infection and the importance of follow-up testing. Public health attention to individuals repeatedly infected with syphilis may help reduce local disease burdens.

PMID:
22095364
PMCID:
PMC3490561
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2011.300383
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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