A recent study conducted by the Health Protection Agency has reported that diagnosed cases of syphilis in the UK have risen ten-fold throughout the last decade; mainly affecting gay men.
Syphilis had became a rare sexually transmitted disease in the UK by the late 90’s through a combination of new antibiotics and syphilis awareness campaigns, with diagnosed cases of just 301 in 1997. This figure has jumped ten-fold with 3762 Syphilis cases diagnosed in 2007.
Of all of the syphilis cases diagnosed over the last decade, 73% of the cases (approximately 9560) affected gay men, with a third of them also infected with HIV. However in 2007, 68% of new syphilis cases were diagnosed in heterosexuals, with the rate of congenital syphilis also rising from 136 in 1999 to 448 in 2007.