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In response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, Greece adopted two nationwide lockdowns (March to May 2020, November 2020 to May 2021). We compared new diagnoses of syphilis and gonorrhoea among people with HIV (mainly men who have sex with men) made in 2020 with those from the previous 2 years in an HIV clinic with 1500 patients in follow-up. Syphilis was diagnosed on the occurrence of symptoms or during routine 6 monthly screening; diagnoses dropped at the beginning of the first lockdown but increased in subsequent months (figure 1), totalling 94 in 2020 vs 57 in 2018 and 83 in 2019. Gonorrhoea was diagnosed on the occurrence of symptoms or by contact tracing; numbers, although small, showed an upward trend (9 in 2018, 17 in 2019, 23 in 2020). Studies are needed to understand the influence of lockdowns on sexual behaviour and partner selection across Europe, where it seems that no significant changes were made.1 2
Data availability statement
Data are available upon request
Patient consent for publication
We thank Dr Georgia Vrioni (Associate Professor of Microbiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) for all the expertise and assistance throughout all aspects of our study.
Handling editor Anna Maria Geretti
Contributors VV—planning, conduct, writing and review. VP—planning and conduct. ED—writing. EP—references. SK—review and supervision. AS—supervision. VV and VP—responsible for the overall content as guarantors.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.