Syphilis prevalence has rapidly decreased in South Korea

Y. H. Cho, H. O. Kim, J. B. Lee, Min Geol Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine the current prevalence of syphilis in the general population of South Korea and its trend over the past 20 years. Methods: 15 402 adults, who all were aged over 20 (6888 blood donors, 495) physical examinees, and 3563 pregnant women) were examined from January 1999 to December 2000. All subjects were screened using a VDRL test, and positive results were confirmed by a FTA-ABS test. The prevalence was compared with the results of previous surveys in similar population groups performed by same authors. Results: The prevalence of syphilis in South Korea was found to be 0.2%. Although has been consistent decreasing trend since 1977 (p<0.0001), there is no statistical difference between 1995 and 2000 (p=0.6992). Conclusions: The prevalence of syphilis has decreased significantly since 1977. However, it has not reduced much since 1995, and it seems that the prevalence has reached a plateau. Until now, not all syphilis patients were registered and followed up by the public health centres because there were so many syphilis patients. However, as this survey shows, the number of syphilis patients has reduced a great deal and it is believed that a more thorough management strategy including all newly diagnosed patients is necessary in order to further reduce the prevalence of syphilis in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-324
Number of pages2
JournalSexually transmitted infections
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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