Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that increases the likelihood of sexual HIV transmission 2-5 times. Risk factors for both infections include vaginal intercourse, oral sex or anal sex without protection or parenteral transmission.
Describe the occurrence and distribution of syphilis and HIV infections by age and gender for the period 2004-2006 in Puerto Rico. Define the distribution of risk factors among syphilis cases and the occurrence of syphilis and HIV co-infections.
Data from the US Census Bureau and Puerto Rico STD Surveillance Office was used to describe the demographic characteristics, occurrence of co-infection, risk factors and to calculate the incidence rate of Syphilis in Puerto Rico from 2004-2006.
For the period of 2004-2006
- A total of 212 people with syphilis were reported to have a positive HIV test either previous or current.
- The 60.1% of the cases were men.
- The highest incidence of co-infection was shown for the 20 to 39 years age group
- The most important risk factors were Heterosexual sex (average 51%), Men sex with men (MSM) (average 33.4%), Use of injecting drugs (average 8.3%) and Sex for drugs or money (average 5.2%).
Unprotected sex is still a huge problem in the control of syphilis particularly in the “MSM” population. Awareness of HIV status does not seem to be a precursor for safer sexual practices.
Design the STD and HIV prevention campaigns require age, gender and cultural considerations. Maintain the surveillance system is important to analyze the trends of these infections.