Brazil’s Ministry of Health estimates that approximately one million of new cases of syphilis occur in Brazil each year, according to Eduardo Campos, Technical Adviser with the National Program for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS.
Aiming at reducing the number of victims infected by the disease, the Ministry has produced technical and educational material for the population, as well as awareness campaigns.
“We are developing a study together with the World Health Organization (WHO) about rapid syphilis detection tests,” says Campos.
He stresses that these tests will be important in certain regions of Brazil, the North of the country, for example, where access to diagnosis is more difficult.
According to Campos, after AIDS, syphilis is the sexually transmitted disease that most worries health professionals, especially because it can be transmitted to babies during pregnancy.
Syphilis may also be transmitted by blood transfusion, organ transplant, and sexual intercourse, the latter being the most common.
“This is the main way of transmission, and it is not different in the rest of the world. Brazil follows the same rhythm,” says Campos.
He affirms that, in Brazil, there has not been any case of infection by blood transfusion, in many years.
Translation: Andréa Alves