Characteristics of syphilis patients who are men who have sex with men at urban sexually transmitted disease clinic in Bangkok


  • Lawitra Phithawutthikorn Bangrak STIs Center, Department of Disease Control
  • Rossaphorn Kittiyaowamarn Bangrak STIs Center, Department of Disease Control
  • Suppachok Kongtian Bangrak STIs Center, Department of Disease Control
  • Ekkachai Daengsaard Bangrak STIs Center, Department of Disease Control
  • Nopphanath Chumpathat Faculty of Nursing, Huachiew Chalermprakiet University



syphilis, men who have sex with men, LDL-C goal achievement


Syphilis is one of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). The re-emergence among men who have sex with men (MSM) population has raised public health concerns which require an urgent solution. The goal of this study is to find the characteristics of MSM diagnosed with syphilis in Bangrak STIs Center and
Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand. This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. A total of 90 new cases of MSM diagnosed with syphilis aged >18 years old were recruited. Findings revealed that 62.2% of
participants were under 30 years old, more than 72.2% had earned a bachelor's degree or above, and 75.6% were under 20 years old when they had their first sexual experience. Intermittent condoms use or no condom use were practiced during having insertive oral sex (88.9%), and receptive oral sex (85.6%). Syphilis patients who had previous history of STIs used more HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis than those who never had STIs before (60% vs 33.3%). The prevention of syphilis infection among MSM should be prioritized by authorities that are responsible for STIs. Strengthening of consultation, education and STIs screening should be intensively implemented in high-risk population especially MSM.


KhongkrirkKiat N, Kittiyaowamarn R, Daengsaard E. editors. Sexually transmitted Infections Treatment Guideline, 2015. Bangkok: Bangrak STIs Center; 2015. (in Thai)

World Health Organization. Report on global sexually transmitted infection surveillance, 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018.

Department of Disease Control (TH), Bureau of Epidemiology. Annual epidemiological surveillance report 2019 [Internet]. 2020. [cited 2022 Dec 17]. Available from: (in Thai)

Arando M, Caballero E, Curran A, Armengol P, Barberá MJ, Vall-Mayans M. The epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the epidemic of syphilis in Barcelona. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2019;110(10):841-9.

Zhang Y, Wu G, Lu R, Xia W, Hu L, Xiong Y, et al. What has changed HIV and syphilis infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in southwest China: a comparison of prevalence and behavioural characteristics (2013-2017). BMC Public Health. 2019;19:1314.

Kojima N, Park H, Konda KA, Davey DLJ, Bristow CC, Brown B, et al. The PICASSO Cohort: baseline characteristics of a cohort of men who have sex with men and male-to-female transgender women at high risk for syphilis infection in Lima, Peru. BMC Infect Dis. 2017;17:255. doi: 10.1186/s12879-017-2332-x. PMID: 28399798; PMCID: PMC5387233.

Wu Z, Xu J, Liu E, Mao Y, Xiao Y, Sun X, et al. HIV and syphilis prevalence among men who have sex with men: a cross-sectional survey of 61 cities in China. Clin Infect Dis. 2013;57(2) :298-309.

Peterman TA, Su J, Bernstein KT, Weinstock H. Syphilis in the United States: on the rise? Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2015;13(2):161-8.

Zoni AC, Gonzalez MA, Sjoegren HW. Syphilis in the most at-risk populations in Latin America and the Caribbean: a systematic review. Int J Infect Dis. 2013;17(2):e84-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.07.021. Epub 2012 Oct 12. PMID: 23063547.

Leeyaphan C, Jiamton S, Prasertworonun N, Maneeprasopchoke P, Omcharoen V. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of patients with syphilis: 5 year-case study from Thailand. J Med Assoc Thai. 2014;97(9):963-8.

Mohammed H, Mitchell H, Sile B, Duffell S, Nardone A, Hughes G. Increase in sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men, England, 2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016;22(1):88-91. doi: 10.3201/eid2201. 151331. PMID: 26689861; PMCID: PMC4696713.

Luo Y, Zhu C, Chen S, Geng Q, Fu R, Li X, et al. Risk factors for HIV and syphilis infection among male sex workers who have sex with men: a cross-sectional study in Hangzhou, China, 2011. BMJ Open. 2015;5(4):e006791.

doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006791.PMID: 25922096; PMCID: PMC4420951.

Repiso B, Frieyro M, Rivas-Ruiz F, de Troya M. Condom use and number of sexual partners among male syphilis patients who report having sex with men. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2010;101 (10):847-52.

Choi KH, Ning Z, Gregorich SE, Pan QC. The influence of social and sexual networks in the spread of HIV and syphilis among men who have sex with men in Shanghai, China. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2007;45(1):77-84.

da Motta LR, Sperhacke RD, de Gregori Adami A, Kato SK, Vanni AC, Paganella MP, et al. Syphilis prevalence and risk factors among young men presenting to the Brazilian Army in 2016: results from a national survey. Medicine. 2018;97(47):e13309. doi: 10.1097/MD.00 00000000013309. PMID: 30461642; PMCID: PMC6393142.

Zhang Y, Bao R, Leuba SI, Li J, Wang H, Zhang J, et al. Association of nitrite inhalants use and unprotected anal intercourse and HIV/syphilis infection among MSM in China: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2020;20(1):1378. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-09405-x. PMID: 32912301; PMCID: PMC7488293.

Chen L, Yang J, Ma Q, Pan X. Prevalence of active syphilis infection and risk factors among HIV-positive MSM in Zhejiang, China in 2015: a cross-sectional study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(9):1507. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16091507. PMID: 31035429; PMCID: PMC6539918.

Centers for Disease Control and prevention (US). Syphilis and MSM (men who have sex with men)-CDC fact sheet [Internet]. Washington, DC: US Department of Health & Human Services; 2022 [cited 2022 Apr 30]. Available from:

Towns JM, Leslie DE, Denham I, Wigan R, Azzato F, Williamson DA, et al. Treponema pallidum detection in lesion and non-lesion sites in men who have sex with men with early syphilis: a prospective, cross-sectional study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2021;21:324-31.




How to Cite

Phithawutthikorn L, Kittiyaowamarn R, Kongtian S, Daengsaard E, Chumpathat N. Characteristics of syphilis patients who are men who have sex with men at urban sexually transmitted disease clinic in Bangkok. Dis Control J [Internet]. 2023 Dec. 29 [cited 2024 Apr. 15];49(4):768-77. Available from:



Original Article