Introduction From 2010 to 2015, the incidence of infectious syphilis (primary, secondary, and early-latent) has increased 5-fold in British Columbia (BC). In response, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) enhanced surveillance for syphilis to characterise sexual/social networks driving the epidemic, and to monitor the risk of HIV transmission. Here we communicate indicators developed from the provincial enhanced surveillance system.
Methods In BC, management of syphilis – including partner notification – is centralised, and coordinated by the BCCDC. In January 2016, a new workflow was implemented to systematically collect and analyse data on HIV co-infection, viral-load and partners. New indicators were developed along a cascade-of-care framework for case and partner care.
Results From January to September 2016, 581 syphilis cases were diagnosed in BC; 491 (84%) were among men who have sex with men (MSM). Of these, 201 (41%) were HIV-positive and 268 (55%) were HIV-negative. Three-quarters of HIV-positive MSM had undetectable viral loads. 149 (74%) of HIV-positive MSM and 137 (51%) of HIV-negative MSM were diagnosed during the early-latent stage. For both groups, 96% of cases were treated within 30 days of syphilis testing. Of the 201 HIV-positive MSM, 141 (70%) discussed partners with public health nurses and together reported 1270 partners (65% anonymous, 35% notifiable) or 9.0 partners/case (range:0–214). Of the 268 HIV-negative MSM, 215 (80%) discussed partners and reported 1806 partners (51% anonymous, 49% notifiable), or 8.4 partners/case (range:1–200).
Conclusion A greater proportion of HIV-positive MSM were diagnosed with syphilis during the asymptomatic early-latent stage, which may be due to routine syphilis screening. However, a lower proportion of HIV-positive MSM with syphilis co-infection were engaged with public health for partner notification, and report a lower proportion of notifiable partners, compared to MSM with syphilis only. Strategies to engage HIV-positive MSM in partner care would strengthen the public health response to syphilis.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
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.