Article Text

PDF
Original article
Can enhanced screening of men with a history of prior syphilis infection stem the epidemic in men who have sex with men? A mathematical modelling study

Abstract

Objectives The aim of this study is to determine the transmission impact of using prior syphilis infection to guide a focused syphilis screening intervention among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Methods We parameterised a deterministic model of syphilis transmission in MSM to reflect the 2011–2015 syphilis outbreak in Winnipeg, Canada. Enhanced screening of 75% of men with prior syphilis every 3 months (A) was compared with distributing equivalent number tests to all MSM (B) or those with the highest partner number (C). We compared early syphilis incidence, diagnoses and prevalence after 10 years, relative to a base case of 30% of MSM screened annually.

Results Strategy A was expected to avert 52% of incident infections, 44% of diagnosed cases and reduce early syphilis prevalence by 89%. Strategy B had the least impact. Strategy C was most effective, averting 59% of incident cases. When screening frequency was semiannual or annual, strategy A was the most effective.

Conclusions Enhanced screening of MSM with prior syphilis may efficiently reduce transmission, especially when identification of high-risk men via self-reported partner numbers or high-frequency screening is difficult to achieve.

  • SYPHILIS
  • SCREENING
  • MATHEMATICAL MODEL
  • TRANSMISSION DYNAMICS

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.