Updated 2018 07 18: To show some of the developments since the original posting in 2007
Syphilis is back, especially among gay men with HIV, and, as the WHO reported, there is now growing antibiotic resistance. That forces updates to recommended treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Syphilis is back, especially among gay men with HIV
By Maria Cheng AP Medical Writer, Dec 27, 2007
European doctors, researchers say alarming resurgence of disease once thought eradicated could be tied to “safe sex fatigue”
LONDON Syphilis is back: The sexually transmitted disease long associated with 19th Century bohemian life is making an alarming resurgence in Europe.
“Syphilis used to be a very rare disease,” said Dr. Marita van de Laar, an expert in sexually transmitted diseases at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. “I’m not sure we can say that anymore.”
Most cases of syphilis are in men, and experts point to more risky sex among gay men as the chief cause for the resurgence. But more cases are being seen among heterosexuals, both men and women, too.
Syphilis was the sexual scourge of the 19th Century, and is believed to have killed artists like poet Charles Baudelaire, composer Robert Schumann, and painter Paul Gauguin. But the widespread use of penicillin in the 1950s all but wiped it out in the Western world.
In the last decade [1997 -2006], however, syphilis has unexpectedly returned, driven by risky sexual behavior and outbreaks in major cities across Europe, including London, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin….
Full Story (that link is broken, but here is an archived version of the article)
Update 2018 07 18
In the meantime, the number of cases of syphilis reported in the U.S. increased from 9,800 cases in 2006 to 27,814 cases in 2016.
30 August 2016 News Release GENEVA
WHO releases new treatment guidelines for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis