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Berlin: Significantly more syphilis diagnoses in Germany


Above all, a big city phenomenon: More and more syphilis diagnoses in Germany
Syphilis was hardly widespread in Germany for a long time. But for some years now, venereal disease has been spreading in this country. New figures from the Robert Koch Institute now show that syphilis diagnoses are made primarily in large cities. Berlin is at the forefront here.

Nowhere else have more people been infected than in Berlin
Syphilis was long gone in this country. But for some years now, the venereal disease has been spreading rapidly in Germany. New figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) show that syphilis diagnoses are mainly made in large cities.

Nowhere in Germany have more people contracted this dangerous disease than in Berlin. Health experts repeatedly point out the importance of early detection tests. In many cases, syphilis is diagnosed late because it does not cause any symptoms at the beginning.

The number of syphilis diagnoses is increasing
The federal government recently warned of an increasing number of venereal diseases. According to a government report on the strategy to contain sexually transmitted infections, the increase in cases is, among other things, responsible for the increased use of dating portals. New numbers now show that above all the number of syphilis infections in Germany continues to rise.

Infections have reached a new high
Syphilis infections reached a new high in Germany in 2015. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin registered 6,834 diagnosed cases nationwide. As the institute's current infection epidemiological yearbook states, this is 19 percent more than in the previous year (5,722 cases). According to the information, it is also the highest value since 2001 when the disease became notifiable. In 2015 there were around 8.5 syphilis cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Homosexual men are particularly affected
“An increase has been reported from most federal states, but to different degrees. Urban conurbations in particular showed high incidences, here too, in some cases with significant increases compared to the previous year, such as in Frankfurt / Main, Stuttgart, Hanover or in the inner city districts of Berlin, ”the experts write in their yearbook. The highest number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants was registered in Berlin (39) and Hamburg (21), the fewest in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Thuringia (3.7).

STI affects homosexual men in particular. In 2015, it was said that the proportion of cases that were presumably due to sexual contact between men was 85 percent.

Raise awareness of syphilis
Syphilis can be treated well with medication. However, the infection is only discovered in the early stages of around a third of patients. The first symptoms include ulcers in the genital area or in the mouth. Since these do not cause pain, they often go unnoticed. In the late stages, however, syphilis is no longer limited to the skin, but according to doctors, it can also damage the blood vessels.

Early diagnosis and treatment of syphilis infections are important. "Awareness of syphilis should therefore be increased both among medical staff and among the affected groups," write the RKI experts. (ad)

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