Syphilis in Adolescents and Young Adults

  • Emma Goodstein
  • Kimberly Workowski


Less than 20 years ago, infectious syphilis was on the verge of eradication in the United States. Since that time, however, syphilis rates have increased dramatically in the United States particularly among adolescents and young adults. While young, Black MSM have the highest risk of acquiring syphilis, it is important to keep in mind that rates have increased in adolescents and young adults of every age, gender, and sexual orientation. This chapter examines the changing epidemiology of syphilis as well as the microbiology and pathophysiology and clinical manifestations at different stages of the syphilitic infection. It then goes on to consider current approaches to diagnostic testing, including diagnostic testing algorithms, and treatment of the different stages of syphilis. Prevention and other public health considerations such as syphilis screening are also discussed. The chapter ends with other considerations that affect syphilis and its treatment such as HIV coinfection, pregnancy, and syphilis in MSM.


Syphilis Adolescents Sexually transmitted infections MSM (men who have sex with men) HIV 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Goodstein
    • 1
  • Kimberly Workowski
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Arizona South Campus Family MedicineTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseaseEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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