Researchers have discovered that cases of syphilis are becoming commonplace in Europe. The last decade has provided an increase in these cases since the early 2000s. Even managing to surpass HIV afflictions in most countries.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has issued a report, stating that syphilis has increased its presence by 70 percent since 2010. They say the cause for this increase is more unprotected sex and the risky sexual activities of gay men.
Andrew Amato-Gauci, an ECDC expert comments:
“The increases in syphilis infections that we see across Europe … are a result of several factors, such as people having sex without condoms and multiple sexual partners, combined with a reduced fear of acquiring HIV,”
The report on the situation in Europe followed a statement from the World Health Organization that 1 million people contract STDs per day on a global basis.
Syphilis can cause serious issues on men and women if left untreated. One of the most tragic effects being newborn deaths as well as having an increased risk of contracting HIV. The disease caused worldwide loss of infants in 2016, being among the top causes for such deaths.
ECDC has collected data that provides evidence for over 260.000 cases of syphilis in over 30 European countries, between 2007 and 2017. Syphilis rates have spiked in 2017, reaching more than 30.000 reported cases. The year marked more reports of syphilis than cases of HIV.
The issue varies wildly from country to country in Europe. With rates dropping in countries like the UK, Ireland, Germany, and Iceland. Countries like Romania and Estonia have seen a 50 percent decrease, however.
More than 60 percent of the reported cases involved men having sex with other men. With heterosexual men reported at 23 percent and women at 15 percent.
Diagnosed homosexual men have been reported at less than 20 percent in countries like Romania, Lithuania, and Latvia. With countries such as Britain, Germany, France, and the Netherlands reporting 80 percent of the cases.
The ECDC representative has commented on the matter. He said that the lack of fear among gay men in contracting HIV has led them to have more unprotected sex. The encouragement of using condoms is needed to reverse the rise of the sexually transmitted disease.