Background: In the United States, there is a high rate of HIV coinfection in persons with syphilis.
Goal: The goal of this study was to estimate the rate of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis in persons living with HIV in the United States in 2002.
Study: We approximated the number of new cases of P&S syphilis in HIV-infected persons and divided this by the estimated number of persons living with HIV. Values for the calculations were obtained from national syphilis and HIV/AIDS surveillance reports and other published sources.
Results: We estimated the rate of new cases of P&S syphilis at 186 per 100,000 persons living with HIV in 2002, 25 per 100,000 HIV-infected women, 60 per 100,000 HIV-infected men who have sex with women only, and 336 per 100,000 HIV-infected men who have sex with men. Of the 6862 reported cases of P&S syphilis in 2002, an estimated 1718 (25%) occurred in persons coinfected with HIV.
Conclusions: The estimated rate of P&S syphilis in persons with HIV is considerably higher than that of the general population. These findings highlight the importance of providing sexually transmitted disease prevention and control services to HIV-infected persons.