Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 188-191

Viewing the resurgence of early syphilis in light of increasing male homosexuality and childhood sexual abuse

Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K Anila
Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College, Gandhi Nagar P. O., Kottayam - 686 006, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijstd.IJSTD_104_16

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Back Ground and Objectives: A rising trend of syphilis has been documented worldwide recently. After decriminalization of homosexuality in India more and more males having sex with males (MSMs) have come out to seek medical advice. Aim: We evaluated sexual behavior of patients with syphilis attending our sexually transmitted infections (STIs) clinic focusing on the factors associated with the increasing MSM practices and rising trend of syphilis among MSM. Materials and Methods: This is a 10-year (2006–2015) descriptive study from among STI patients attending the dermatology outpatient department in a tertiary care center. Recognizing the rising homosexuality, from 2011 onward, we had given a questionnaire to assess their sexual behavior and sexual practices. Results: Analysis of data from 560 cases diagnosed as having STI revealed a rising trend of all STIs including syphilis from 2011 onward. The MSM cases reporting to our STI clinic showed a sustained rise from 2011 onward. The most common STI in MSM was syphilis that too early acquired. More than half of the MSM indulged in bisexual activities and the predominant mode was anoreceptive. Nearly 70% had unprotected contact and most had early sexual debut (<20 years). Thirty-six percent gave a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) by a close male acquaintance. Conclusions: After 2011, we have observed a resurgence of early acquired syphilis which coincided with an increase in promiscuous homosexuality. Many of the MSMs were bisexuals and homosexuality was an acquired behavior. An alarming increase in the incidence of CSA was observed in MSMs.

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