The sexually transmitted disease that was thought to have disappeared is in fact having a big resurgence in Europe.
Europe has been hit dramatically by syphilis for 10 years. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced it in a report published on July 12th.
Also known as “syphilis” or “largepox”, syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It is characterized by ulcers to the genitals, mouth, then fever and redness, pain and migraines. Untreated, it can lead to death.
ECDC researchers have found that syphilis has spread even more than HIV in Europe in the last decade. Between 2007 and 2017, 260,000 new STI cases were reported across the continent. The year 2017 concentrates 33,000 alone.
The most affected countries? Iceland, Germany, Ireland, Malta or England, which saw the number of cases swell by 5% in one year. In terms of distribution by sex, heterosexual men account for 23%, and heterosexual women 15%. The study points out that most cases involve homosexual men.
The researchers explain this strong return of a disease, which was mistakenly thought to have disappeared, by a decrease in the fear of contracting STIs, and therefore a lesser use of condoms.