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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA
A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,014
Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2003 December;138(6):525-8
Epidemiology of syphilis in Milan area (years 1954-2002)
Alessi G., Ghislanzoni M., Bernardi C., Cusini M., Carminati G.
Istituto di Scienze Dermatologiche IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano
Since 1954 and up to 1985, syphilis was a fairly common infection in Milan and its surroundings with 3 peaks of incidence in 1961, 1967-69 and 1983-84, the 1st one following the abolition of the sanitary control of prostitutes, the 2nd one due to a relevant immigration of single men from Southern Italy as a consequence of a modification in labour contracts, and the 3rd deriving, at least partly, both from the introduction of oral contraceptives and from significative changes in sexual behaviour in the wrong opinion that the venereal diseases were a problem of the past. Subsequently, and up to 2000, with the consciousness of the great danger of a disease as AIDS, syphilis became rarer and rarer in our city, but since the 2nd half of 2001 its epidemiological trend reversed again. Primary syphilis, secondary syphilis and also asymptomatic reinfections reappeared. This unexpected increase of cases was observed in particular among homosexual males and seemed to be a consequence of the increase of risky sexual behaviours in this particular group. As a matter of fact “dark rooms”, where multiple sex without condom is practised, became again very popular among homosexuals probably because the fear of AIDS is decreasing also in consequence of the introduction of HAART therapy.