Syphilis transmission: a review of the current evidence

Sex Health. 2015 Apr;12(2):103-9. doi: 10.1071/SH14174.


Syphilis remains widespread worldwide, with increasing rates among men who have sex with men. This paper reviews available evidence regarding syphilis transmission, including data on: sexual transmission (transmission probability per sexual partnership), vertical transmission, transmission via blood products and organ donation, and other rare modes of transmission. In addition, host susceptibility to syphilis infection is discussed. Syphilis screening and treatment, condoms and risk-reduction counselling and how they modify syphilis transmission dynamics are considered.