To identify the frequency of syphilis among Iranian HIV-positive patients.
A cross-sectional study on the prevalence of syphilis and HIV co-infection among 450 patients diagnosed with HIV infection was conducted between 2004 and 2008 at Imam Khomeini hospital, Tehran, Iran. The lab tests including CD4 cell count, cerebrospinal fluid, veneral disease research laboratory (VDRL), fluorescent treponema antibody-absorption (FTA-Abs) and viral load were performed for all the patients. Data regarding medical history and their demographics were also collected.
Of all 450 HIV-positive patients, 24 (5.3%) had a positive VDRL test and only two men had a FTA-Abs positive test which means 0.45% of them had a definite co-infection of syphilis. 65.3% of the HIV-positive patients were injection drug users that the co-infection prevalence of them was 0.7%. We did not find any patient with neurosyphilis.
Considering the increasing prevalence of HIV and also extensive use of highly active antiretroviral therapy in developing nations, the diagnosis of syphilis should be timely established using screening tests among such patients.
Keywords: Syphilis, HIV/AIDS, Co-infection