Characteristics of persons with syphilis in areas of persisting syphilis in the United States: Sustained transmission associated with concurrent partnerships

Emilia H. Koumans, Thomas A. Farley, James J. Gibson, Carol Langley, Michael W. Ross, Mary McFarlane, Jimmy Braxton, Michael E. St Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Goal: In areas with persistent syphilis, to characterize persons at higher risk for transmitting syphilis. Study Design: Cohort study. Structured interviews of persons with early syphilis from four research centers were linked to outcomes of partner tracing. Results: Of 743 persons with syphilis, 229 (31%) reported two or more partners in the previous month, and 57 (8%) received money or drugs for sex in the previous three months. Persons with at least one partner at an earlier stage of syphilis than themselves were defined as transmitters; 63 (8.5%) of persons with early syphilis met this definition. Having concurrent partners (two or more in one week in the last month) was independently associated with being a transmitter. Conclusion: Sexual network/behavioral characteristics of syphilis patients and their partners, such as concurrency, can help identify persons at higher risk for transmitting syphilis who should receive emphasis in disease prevention activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-503
Number of pages7
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Volume28
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

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