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Contempo Updates
Clinician's Corner
September 17, 2003

Update on SyphilisResurgence of an Old Problem

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Infectious Diseases, the Center for AIDS and STD (Drs Golden, Marra, and Holmes) and Department of Neurology (Dr Marra), University of Washington, Seattle, and Public Health–Seattle and King County (Dr Golden), Seattle, Wash.


Contempo Updates Section Editor: Sarah Pressman Lovinger, MD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2003;290(11):1510-1514. doi:10.1001/jama.290.11.1510

In 1937 US Surgeon General Thomas Parran estimated that 10% of Americans would be infected with syphilis during their lives.1 Rates of primary and secondary syphilis plummeted with the institution of public health control measures and the advent of penicillin, reaching a nadir in 2000. Since then, rates have continued to decline among women and infants, although overall rates again have begun to climb.2

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