Syphilis - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2018

Surveillance report
Publication series: Annual Epidemiological Report on Communicable Diseases in Europe
Time period covered: This report is based on data for 2018 retrieved from The European Surveillance System (TESSy) on 29 November 2018.

ECDC’s annual surveillance reports provide a wealth of epidemiological data to support decision-making at the national level. They are mainly intended for public health professionals and policymakers involved in disease prevention and control programmes.

Executive summary

  • In 2018, 33 927 confirmed syphilis cases were reported in 29 EU/EEA Member States, with a crude notification rate of 7.0 cases per 100 000 population.
  • Reported syphilis rates were nine times higher in men than in women and showed a peak for 25–34-year-old men (29 cases per 100 000 population).
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of syphilis cases with information on transmission category were reported in men who have sex with men (MSM).
  • The trend in syphilis rates has been on the rise since 2011 and up to 2017, particularly among men and mainly due to an increase in the number of cases among MSM. In 2018, the increase seems to have halted.
  • Compared with 2017, the number of MSM cases with HIV-negative status increased by 7% in 2018.