Congenital Syphilis is More Common than Perinatal HIV Infection Worldwide

It is reported every year that the syphilis infection rate is at a similar level as that of HIV infection. The worldwide HIV prevention program is managed attentively and only reports 230,000 new HIV infection cases each year. However, the test that diagnoses syphilis is not even performed yet and this causes serious problem among pregnant women. Approximately one million pregnant women are infected by syphilis every year, 50% or more of them have miscarriages, stillbirths, or severe complications. Despite its high infection rate, congenital syphilis is neglected in most countries rather than being treated as a priority, which is a significant matter.

 

Various diagnostic assays and drugs that are easy and inexpensive contribute to preventing and treating congenital syphilis.

 

Combining syphilis rapid with HIV tests and the perinatal control program can reduce the congenital syphilis cases and save a number of lives from stillbirth with minimum cost.

 

WHO estimated that 12 million cases of syphilis infection are reported annually. 30% of pregnant women with syphilis suffer from stillbirths and the other 30% of babies are born with congenital syphilis. But 50% of those babies born with congenital syphilis are defeated by the disease and lose their lives. Nonetheless, only 30% of pregnant women were tested for syphilis in the southern sub-Saharan area in Africa where the prevalence of syphilis is high. If the disease is detected early and properly treated by using prompt testing, syphilis infection could be prevented and many young lives can be saved.