Syphilis2Health authorities in Barbados have confirmed a syphilis outbreak on the island.

Senior Medical Officer with responsibility for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Dr. Anton Best, said the outbreak was first detected in 2013.

Now a new report has revealed a significant increase in the number of syphilis cases since 2013 and the subsequent outbreak stabilizing in 2014 and 2015.

72% of new syphilis cases occurred in men between the ages of 15 and 49 years old, with the average age being 34.

The study also examined syphilis testing trends among pregnant women and the potential transmission to babies, but showed no increase in syphilis cases in pregnant women during the four-year study, and only one case of syphilis being transmitted through birth in 2014.

The ministry of Health’s HIV and STI Program is continuing to conduct ongoing surveillance for syphilis and will implement new processes aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of it, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections in Barbados.

Jo Wheeler