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Between 1998 and 2000 the number of cases of infectious syphilis in England more than doubled, largely driven by several localised outbreaks. These outbreaks suggest a resurgence of unsafe sexual behaviour among both heterosexual and homosexual people in England. They also emphasise the importance of sustained multidisciplinary public health action in this area, according to an article published in last week’s BMJ (1). The general public, certain groups at risk, and relevant health professionals should be aware of the risks of acquiring syphilis and of the symptoms and signs of acute infection.


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