[Epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections in France]

Med Mal Infect. 2005 May;35(5):281-9. doi: 10.1016/j.medmal.2005.03.011.
[Article in French]


Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STI) in France are reported on a voluntary basis through several sentinel surveillance systems.

Methods: To monitor STI, sentinel laboratory- or clinician-based surveillance systems were set up by the Institut de Veille Sanitaire: gonorrhea surveillance (Renago) in 1986, Chlamydia infections surveillance (Renachla) in 1989, and more recently, syphilis surveillance in 2000 and rectal lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) in 2004.

Results: From 2000 to 2003, 1,089 syphilis infections were reported. Most of the cases were diagnosed in men having sex with men (MSM) and were mainly reported by STI clinics located in the Paris area. From 1997 to 2000, an increase of gonorrhea was observed each year. After two years of stable trend, the prevalence of gonorrhea increased again in 2003. From 2002 to 2004, 123 LGV cases were diagnosed in France and were observed only in MSM. Since 2001, Chlamydia infections have steadily increased, particularly in women.

Comments: Because STI surveillance is based on a voluntary basis, the number of reported cases is probably lower than the number of STI diagnosed in France. However, the data provided by the different surveillance systems reveals that STI have been increasing in France since 1997. Moreover, the resurgence of syphilis in 2000 and the emergence of rectal LGV in 2004 indicate that these STI occur mainly in MSM. Trends on incidence and patients characteristics observed in France are similar to those of several Europeans countries. European Public Health interventions are becoming necessary to prevent and control STI.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Syphilis / epidemiology*