Repeat Syphilis Among HIV-Infected Men in Florida and Louisiana 2000–2018: Implications for Screening Recommendations
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Repeat Syphilis Among HIV-Infected Men in Florida and Louisiana 2000–2018: Implications for Screening Recommendations

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  • Alternative Title:
    AIDS Patient Care STDS
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    Syphilis rates have continued to rise in the United States. Florida and Louisiana consistently report high numbers of cases. We evaluated rates of reinfection to see if frequent rescreening might lead to earlier treatment and prevent infections. All syphilis records of all stages for males and females aged 15-70 years from the Florida and Louisiana Departments of Health surveillance databases 2000-2018 were evaluated. The first episode of syphilis during this period was considered the initial diagnosis for each person. Demographics of cases and repeaters (individuals reported with two or more cases of syphilis) were examined. Percentages of syphilis cases from repeaters by year were calculated as were percentages from HIV+ males. During 2000-2018, 124,827 syphilis cases were reported from 107,405 individuals: 73,811 (68.7%) males; 33,594 (31.3%) females. There were 12,545 individuals (repeaters) with two or more syphilis diagnoses (| = 17,422 cases; range, 2-10). From 2010 to 2018, repeaters accounted for steadily increasing percentage of all syphilis reported: 2010 (11%), 2013 (16%), 2015 (20%), and 2018 (26%). Among HIV+ male cases the percentage from repeaters also increased: 2010 (28%), 2013 (35%), 2015 (42%), and 2018 (50%). In 2018, 19% of all cases (| = 2455) were from HIV+ males who had a previous syphilis diagnosis. Among HIV+ males diagnosed with syphilis in 2015, 34% had a repeat syphilis diagnosis within 3 years. Most syphilis diagnosed in Florida and Louisiana was among persons infected for the first time. However, some subgroups could possibly benefit from more frequent screening. Males living with HIV who had a prior syphilis diagnosis were at very high risk of repeat infection.
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