The findings and conclusions in these presentations have not been formally disseminated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rapid Re-emergence of Primary & Secondary Syphilis among Men who have Sex with Men in Chicago, 2005

Irina Tabidze1, Carol Ciesielski, William Wong, and Jennifer Broad2. (1) Division of STD/HIV/AIDS, Chicago Department of Public Health, 2045 W Washington Blv, Chicago, IL, USA, (2) STD/HIV Prevention and Care Program, Division of STD/HIV/AIDS, Chicago Department of Public Health, 530 E 31st street, 2nd floor, Chicago, IL, USA

After the resurgence of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis in men who have sex with men (MSM) in cities throughout the US between 2000-2003, several cities have noted recent declines in P&S syphilis reports. Chicago reported declines in MSM P&S syphilis in 2003-2004, but has experienced a resurgence in 2005.

To describe recent changes in the epidemiology of P&S syphilis among MSM in Chicago.

Surveillance data for cases of P&S syphilis between 2001-2005 were analyzed. Data for 2005 is provisional.

Between 2001-2002 60% of P&S syphilis cases in Chicago were among MSM. Cases peaked in 2002 with 211 MSM cases, but declined to 162 (23% decrease) by 2004, when MSM comprised 54% of total cases. The 203 provisional cases reported in 2005 among MSM represents a 25% increase over 2004, with MSM comprising 75% of 2005 P&S morbidity reports. MSM cases in 2005 were similar to 2004 with respect to geographic location, age (36 vs. 35 years), race/ethnicity, and number of median sex partners(3). Interview data was available for 95% (346/365) of MSM with P&S syphilis reported in 2004 and 2005. MSM reported with P&S syphilis in 2005 versus in 2004 were more likely to meet their partners via the internet (57% vs. 40%) and less likely meet their partners at bathhouses (20% vs. 27%), but there was no difference with respect to reporting anonymous partners(63% vs. 60%).

A resurgence of P&S syphilis among MSM in Chicago in 2005 occurred despite the implementation of a targeted syphilis social-marketing campaign. These data highlight the need for effective and innovative intervention strategies for syphilis control in MSM.

Community involvement in syphilis control are needed. Public awareness should be raised through mass media and enhanced education/training for public and private health care providers.