Clinical factors associated with syphilis concordance in men in sexual partnerships: A cross-sectional couples study.

Janet M Towns, Sarah Huffam, Eric P.F. Chow, Ian Denham, Lei Zhang, Andrea Ryan, Clare Elizabeth Bellhouse, Melanie Bissessor, Catriona S Bradshaw, Tiffany Phillips, Stephen Graves, Christopher K Fairley, Marcus Y Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Syphilis infections continue to increase among men who have sex with men (MSM) in many countries, with rates often higher among HIV-positive MSM. There is limited understanding of the risk and determinants of syphilis transmission between men. We aimed to examine the concordance of early syphilis infection between male sexual partners and clinical factors associated with transmission. Methods: Men attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre with their male partners, where at least one was diagnosed with early syphilis, were identified from linkage of partner records between March 2011 and April 2016. Early latent syphilis was defined as a new asymptomatic syphilis presentation of less than 2 years' duration. Associations between concordance and potential risk factors were examined using Fisher's exact test. Results: Among 43 couples (86 men) identified, there were 13 couples (26 men) where both were diagnosed with early syphilis, representing a concordance rate of 30.2% (95% CI 17.2% to 46.1%). Among the 13 concordant couples, 5 men had primary syphilis (4 penile, 1 anal), 11 secondary syphilis (8 generalised rash, 3 penile, 2 anal, 1 oral lesion) and 10 early latent infections. Concordance was higher among couples where at least one partner had secondary syphilis compared with couples where neither partner had secondary syphilis (53% (9/17) vs 15% (4/26), P=0.016). Furthermore, concordance was higher among couples where one was HIV positive compared with couples where both were HIV negative (62% (5/8) vs 23% (8/35), P=0.042). Conclusions: There was an overall concordance rate of 30%. Higher concordance rates for early syphilis infection between male sexual partners were associated with HIV and secondary syphilis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-573
Number of pages3
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Volume94
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • HIV
  • gay men
  • syphilis

Cite this

@article{059085e138e943f7b49fb3d80e1a0d3e,
title = "Clinical factors associated with syphilis concordance in men in sexual partnerships: A cross-sectional couples study.",
abstract = "Background: Syphilis infections continue to increase among men who have sex with men (MSM) in many countries, with rates often higher among HIV-positive MSM. There is limited understanding of the risk and determinants of syphilis transmission between men. We aimed to examine the concordance of early syphilis infection between male sexual partners and clinical factors associated with transmission. Methods: Men attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre with their male partners, where at least one was diagnosed with early syphilis, were identified from linkage of partner records between March 2011 and April 2016. Early latent syphilis was defined as a new asymptomatic syphilis presentation of less than 2 years' duration. Associations between concordance and potential risk factors were examined using Fisher's exact test. Results: Among 43 couples (86 men) identified, there were 13 couples (26 men) where both were diagnosed with early syphilis, representing a concordance rate of 30.2{\%} (95{\%} CI 17.2{\%} to 46.1{\%}). Among the 13 concordant couples, 5 men had primary syphilis (4 penile, 1 anal), 11 secondary syphilis (8 generalised rash, 3 penile, 2 anal, 1 oral lesion) and 10 early latent infections. Concordance was higher among couples where at least one partner had secondary syphilis compared with couples where neither partner had secondary syphilis (53{\%} (9/17) vs 15{\%} (4/26), P=0.016). Furthermore, concordance was higher among couples where one was HIV positive compared with couples where both were HIV negative (62{\%} (5/8) vs 23{\%} (8/35), P=0.042). Conclusions: There was an overall concordance rate of 30{\%}. Higher concordance rates for early syphilis infection between male sexual partners were associated with HIV and secondary syphilis.",
keywords = "HIV, gay men, syphilis",
author = "Towns, {Janet M} and Sarah Huffam and Chow, {Eric P.F.} and Ian Denham and Lei Zhang and Andrea Ryan and Bellhouse, {Clare Elizabeth} and Melanie Bissessor and Bradshaw, {Catriona S} and Tiffany Phillips and Stephen Graves and Fairley, {Christopher K} and Chen, {Marcus Y}",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1136/sextrans-2017-053297",
language = "English",
volume = "94",
pages = "571--573",
journal = "Sexually Transmitted Infections",
issn = "1368-4973",
publisher = "BMJ Group",
number = "8",

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Clinical factors associated with syphilis concordance in men in sexual partnerships : A cross-sectional couples study. / Towns, Janet M; Huffam, Sarah; Chow, Eric P.F.; Denham, Ian; Zhang, Lei; Ryan, Andrea; Bellhouse, Clare Elizabeth; Bissessor, Melanie; Bradshaw, Catriona S; Phillips, Tiffany; Graves, Stephen; Fairley, Christopher K; Chen, Marcus Y.

In: Sexually Transmitted Infections, Vol. 94, No. 8, 01.12.2018, p. 571-573.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Clinical factors associated with syphilis concordance in men in sexual partnerships

T2 - A cross-sectional couples study.

AU - Towns, Janet M

AU - Huffam, Sarah

AU - Chow, Eric P.F.

AU - Denham, Ian

AU - Zhang, Lei

AU - Ryan, Andrea

AU - Bellhouse, Clare Elizabeth

AU - Bissessor, Melanie

AU - Bradshaw, Catriona S

AU - Phillips, Tiffany

AU - Graves, Stephen

AU - Fairley, Christopher K

AU - Chen, Marcus Y

PY - 2018/12/1

Y1 - 2018/12/1

N2 - Background: Syphilis infections continue to increase among men who have sex with men (MSM) in many countries, with rates often higher among HIV-positive MSM. There is limited understanding of the risk and determinants of syphilis transmission between men. We aimed to examine the concordance of early syphilis infection between male sexual partners and clinical factors associated with transmission. Methods: Men attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre with their male partners, where at least one was diagnosed with early syphilis, were identified from linkage of partner records between March 2011 and April 2016. Early latent syphilis was defined as a new asymptomatic syphilis presentation of less than 2 years' duration. Associations between concordance and potential risk factors were examined using Fisher's exact test. Results: Among 43 couples (86 men) identified, there were 13 couples (26 men) where both were diagnosed with early syphilis, representing a concordance rate of 30.2% (95% CI 17.2% to 46.1%). Among the 13 concordant couples, 5 men had primary syphilis (4 penile, 1 anal), 11 secondary syphilis (8 generalised rash, 3 penile, 2 anal, 1 oral lesion) and 10 early latent infections. Concordance was higher among couples where at least one partner had secondary syphilis compared with couples where neither partner had secondary syphilis (53% (9/17) vs 15% (4/26), P=0.016). Furthermore, concordance was higher among couples where one was HIV positive compared with couples where both were HIV negative (62% (5/8) vs 23% (8/35), P=0.042). Conclusions: There was an overall concordance rate of 30%. Higher concordance rates for early syphilis infection between male sexual partners were associated with HIV and secondary syphilis.

AB - Background: Syphilis infections continue to increase among men who have sex with men (MSM) in many countries, with rates often higher among HIV-positive MSM. There is limited understanding of the risk and determinants of syphilis transmission between men. We aimed to examine the concordance of early syphilis infection between male sexual partners and clinical factors associated with transmission. Methods: Men attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre with their male partners, where at least one was diagnosed with early syphilis, were identified from linkage of partner records between March 2011 and April 2016. Early latent syphilis was defined as a new asymptomatic syphilis presentation of less than 2 years' duration. Associations between concordance and potential risk factors were examined using Fisher's exact test. Results: Among 43 couples (86 men) identified, there were 13 couples (26 men) where both were diagnosed with early syphilis, representing a concordance rate of 30.2% (95% CI 17.2% to 46.1%). Among the 13 concordant couples, 5 men had primary syphilis (4 penile, 1 anal), 11 secondary syphilis (8 generalised rash, 3 penile, 2 anal, 1 oral lesion) and 10 early latent infections. Concordance was higher among couples where at least one partner had secondary syphilis compared with couples where neither partner had secondary syphilis (53% (9/17) vs 15% (4/26), P=0.016). Furthermore, concordance was higher among couples where one was HIV positive compared with couples where both were HIV negative (62% (5/8) vs 23% (8/35), P=0.042). Conclusions: There was an overall concordance rate of 30%. Higher concordance rates for early syphilis infection between male sexual partners were associated with HIV and secondary syphilis.

KW - HIV

KW - gay men

KW - syphilis

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85049075605&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1136/sextrans-2017-053297

DO - 10.1136/sextrans-2017-053297

M3 - Article

VL - 94

SP - 571

EP - 573

JO - Sexually Transmitted Infections

JF - Sexually Transmitted Infections

SN - 1368-4973

IS - 8

ER -