Primary and secondary syphilis--United States, 2002

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2003 Nov 21;52(46):1117-20.


After declining every year during 1990-2000, the rate of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis in the United States increased in 2001. To characterize the epidemiology of syphilis in the United States, CDC analyzed national surveillance data for 2002. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicate that the number of reported cases of P&S syphilis increased 12.4% in 2002. As in 2001, this increase occurred only among men, suggesting that this increase occurred particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM). For the 12th consecutive year, the number of P&S syphilis cases declined among women and non-Hispanic blacks. These data suggest that although efforts to reduce syphilis among these populations have been effective, additional intervention strategies are needed to prevent syphilis among MSM.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Syphilis / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology