Purpose of review China
has experienced an increase in the incidence and prevalence of syphilis
that is especially remarkable since this infection was virtually eradicated in the country 50 years ago. The purpose of this analysis is to provide an overview of recent literature on syphilis
proximate determinants and potential public health responses.
Per capita syphilis
burden is greatest in coastal urban China
. There are a number of biological, demographic, geographic, and behavioral/social
proximate determinants of syphilis
spread that distinguish the Chinese syphilis
epidemic. These determinants portend the need for intensified syphilis
control efforts, including: comprehensive testing and treatment; integration with HIV, sexually transmitted infection, and antenatal services; scale-up of novel rapid syphilis
test technology, and multisectorial support.
The Chinese central government recently announced a 10-year syphilis
plan to provide clear expectations for evaluating the success of local syphilis
control programs and integration with HIV testing programs. Further research is needed to understand the social
and behavioral determinants driving the spread of syphilis