Intended for healthcare professionals


Number of cases of syphilis continue to rise

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 09 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2807
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

The number of cases of syphilis has hit the highest level since 1949, according to figures published by Public Health England.1

There were 5920 cases of the infection reported in 2016, a 12% rise from 2015 when 5281 cases were reported. Since 2012—when there were 3001 infections—the number of cases has nearly doubled.

Public Health England (PHE) says that most of the increase is associated with transmission among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.

The figures show that there has been a slight decrease in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) overall. In 2016 there were around 420 000 diagnoses of STIs, a decline of 4% compared …

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