How infectious is syphilis?

Br J Vener Dis. 1983 Aug;59(4):217-9. doi: 10.1136/sti.59.4.217.


In a study of the sexual contacts of patients with primary and secondary syphilis, 65 of 127 (51%) contacts at risk developed syphilis. There was no significant difference between figures for homosexuals (48/98, 49%) and for heterosexuals (17/29, 58%). Our findings are similar to those of the prepenicillin era, but the question, Why are so few contacts infected? remains unanswered.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Syphilis / transmission*
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom