Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Syphilis has re-emerged in western Europe since 2000. Changes in sexual behaviour have facilitated the spread of syphilis especially among men who have sex with men (MSM) and improved surveillance systems and case detection have lead to an increase in the reported numbers of cases. This report describes recent trends (2000-2007) of syphilis in Sweden, where the spread among MSM, particularly in the big cities, has been a major contributor to an increase in cases. Estimated syphilis incidence among MSM was up to twenty-eight times higher than in the general Swedish male population. The most affected age group among males was 25-44 years of age. The majority of infections in men and women through heterosexual contacts were acquired abroad whereas the majority of infections attributed to sex between men were acquired in Sweden. Appropriate prevention activities are needed to reach vulnerable populations in Sweden.


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