In a recent study by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, it states that there has been a surge of syphilis cases in Japan over the past few years. After the Second World War, the rate of syphilis sufferers was greatly reduced, thanks to advancements in antibiotics, but the rate of syphilis cases has risen by nearly 100 new cases each year since 2003.
The groups with the highest increases of syphilis were males aged between 35 and 39, and females aged between 20 and 24. The increase in the number of women diagnosed with syphilis has tripled since 2003.
Talking about the study, Koji Saida, from a maternity clinic in Osaka said: “The cause is probably the trend for more sexual partners. Sales of condoms are down, and the increase in syphilis infection would seem to correlate with this,”
Syphilis is caused by a bacterial organism called treponema pallidum and is passed on through close contact with an infected area. It is usually passed on through unprotected sex, oral sex or by sharing sex toys, but can also be spread by sharing intravenous needles if you are a drug taker.