Background The epidemiology of syphilis in Georgia has traditionally been determined by socio-economic factors such as low solvency of Georgian population, urban migration, level of financing of STI prevention programmes etc. This study reports on the epidemiology of syphilis in Georgia over the period of 2000–2011.
Methods Analysis of 12 years data on syphilis incidence provided by the National Center for Diseases Control and Public Health, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Results In 2000 morbidity due to syphilis was 20.3, while in 2002 it reached 31.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. However, in 2011 the incidence had decreased to 11.0 per 100,000 inhabitants. The most affected age group is persons aged between 20–29 years and the infection has been slightly more prevalent among men (67% of all registered cases) than among the women. Over the recent four years, though, syphilis has become more prevalent among the 30–39 years old men. The incidence is also higher in urban areas. Since 2000 latent syphilis prevails, comprising 83% of all syphilis cases and primary syphilis steadily decreases, e.g. in 2010–2011 constituting only 7–8% of all diagnosed cases. During these years, neurosyphilis constituted 0.5–1.2% of all syphilis cases. In 2000 12 cases of congenital syphilis were registered, compared to 16 cases in 2012.
Conclusions The incidence of syphilis remains high in Georgia and epidemiological trends are well coinciding with those in many other countries of Eastern Europe. The high incidence of newly detected latent vs. primary syphilis may indicate a suboptimal surveillance, diagnostics and management of STI patients. A correlation between the availability of the financed STI programmes and increasing incidences of syphilis was also noted.
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