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Risky male sex pushes European syphilis to 70% since 2010



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For the past ten years, cases of syphilis have been recorded in Europe, which for the first time since the beginning of the 2000s have become more common in some countries than new HIV cases, according to health experts on July 12 (July 12) .

The reporting of sexually transmitted infections has increased by 70% since 2010, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) – with the growth of unprotected sex and more risky sexual behavior among gay men.

"The growth of syphilis infections that we see across Europe … is the result of several factors, such as sex without condoms and several sexual partners, combined with a decrease in the fear of acquiring HIV," said Andrew Amato-Hauchi, ECDC Expert on Infections, sexually transmitted infections.

The European report came after the World Health Organization announced last month that around one million people are sexually transmitted infections every day around the world.

In the absence of treatment, syphilis may have serious complications in men and women, including the death of stillbirths and newborns and an increase in the risk of HIV transmission. Syphilis was one of the leading causes of child abduction worldwide in 2016.

The Stockholm-based ECDC for Health and Disease in Europe reported that, in total, more than 260,000 cases of syphilis were registered in 30 countries from 2007 to 2017.

In 2017, syphilis rates reached record high rates of more than 33,000 registered cases, according to the ECDC. This meant that for the first time since the early 2000s, more cases of syphilis were reported in the region than new cases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that caused AIDS.

However, this problem was significantly different in different countries, with more than twice as many countries as the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Iceland and Malta, but in Estonia and Romania this figure decreased by 50% or more.

Nearly two-thirds of cases reported between 2007 and 2017, where sexual orientation was reported, were men who have sex with men, according to the ECDC report, while heterosexual men gave 23% of cases and women 15 %

The share of diagnostic cases among men who have sex with men ranged from less than 20% in Latvia, Lithuania and Romania to more than 80% in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Amato-Gauchi said that complacency among men who have gay-sex and, apparently, not concerned about the risks of HIV infection, caused the problem. "To change this trend, we must encourage people to use condoms consistently with new and random partners," he said.

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