Research and analysis

Syphilis and Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV): resurgent sexually transmitted infections in the UK

This 2009 report by the HPA, now part of PHE, gives details of the continuing epidemic of infectious syphilis and LGV.



Findings of this report from the Health Protection Agency (HPA), now part of Public Health England (PHE), include:

  • epidemics of infectious syphilis and Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) are continuing especially among men who have sex with men (MSM) who are known to be HIV infected

  • 3762 diagnoses of infectious syphilis were made in 2007, more than in any other year since 1950

  • 849 cases of LGV were diagnosed between 2003 and 2008, the majority of whom had symptoms of proctitis (rectal pain, discharge, bloody stools and constipation)

  • MSM account for 73% of infectious syphilis and 99% of LGV cases

  • HIV co-infection is common in those diagnosed with LGV (74%) and syphilis (27%) reflecting the close relationships between the epidemics

  • the increased number of syphilis cases in women of reproductive age has resulted in an increase in cases of congenital infection

Published 1 June 2009