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Contempo Updates
Clinician's Corner
September 17, 2003

Update on Syphilis: Resurgence of an Old Problem

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