The Ministry of Health of Chubut, through the Provincial Directorate of Common Pathology and Epidemiology, is actively working to implement various health strategies and policies aimed at preventing syphilis, as well as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), throughout the territory. from Chubut.
Provincial HIV, STI and Viral Hepatitis Program Officer Sebastian Restuccia, who was consulted on the matter, explained that “in recent years we have seen a significant increase in cases of syphilis in our province, the number of people diagnosed with syphilis has even tripled since 2021” . to date,” adding that “we currently have a rate of 90 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with the 20 to 34 age group being the age group with the highest incidence.”
In this sense, he also pointed out that “syphilis is one of the major sexually transmitted infections that exists today and, contrary to what is commonly believed, it has not been eradicated, but it is an infection that is still in force, with a steady increase in the number of cases worldwide.
Etiology of syphilis
“Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which is mainly transmitted sexually through contact with fluids,” said Restuccia, recalling that “this is why the use of barrier methods such as sexual and vaginal condoms is so important.” or latex fields.
In addition, he said that “this infection can also be transmitted during pregnancy, causing congenital syphilis in the child, for which it is very important that pregnant women maintain adequate monitoring of medical care during pregnancy, conducting laboratory tests in each of the three trimesters and attracting to them their sexual partners.
On the other hand, the provincial referent pointed out that “initially, syphilis usually presents with a lesion called a chancre, which may appear on the penis, vulva, mouth, or anus.” Then “this lesion usually disappears over time, even without treatment, but the infection remains latent, although there are no visible lesions, so the disease continues to progress and the risk of its transmission remains,” he explained.
importance of prevention
“Syphilis can be cured and its treatment is very simple,” Restuccia finally remarked, adding that “it is very important that we can prevent the transmission of this infection, as well as other sexually transmitted infections, through medical examinations, access to diagnostics and the use of barrier methods.