Infectious Syphilis and Congenital Syphilis in Canada, 2020 (infographic)
Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada
Date published: 2021-11-10
In 2020, 9126 cases of infectious syphilis were reported, for a rate of 24 per 100,000 population.
|Year||Number of infectious syphilis cases||Rate per 100,000 population|
In the past five years (2016 to 2020) rates of infectious syphilis among females increased by 740%, while male cases increased by 70% during the same period. Overall, infectious syphilis rates have increased by 124% nationally, from 2016 to 2020.
Rates of infectious syphilis have increased in almost all provinces and territories (except for New Brunswick and Nunavut). The highest rates increases were observed in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwest Territories.
|Province or territory||Percent increase from 2016 to 2020 (%)|
A 2% decrease in infectious syphilis rates was observed nationally from 2019 to 2020. This might be explained by a decreased demand for and ability to deliver STBBI services (including testing) due to the COVID-19 pandemicFootnote 1.
- Sex and sexual orientation:
- Nationally, 1 in 3 cases (30%) are among females in 2020 (compared to 8% in 2016). The proportion of cases who are gbMSMFootnote 2 is decreasing.
- Age group
- The 25 to 39 year old age group had the highest rate of infectious syphilis in 2020, but the highest increase in rate in the past five years was observed in 15 to 24 year olds.
- The number of cases of congenital syphilis has also significantly increased in parallel to the increase observed in rates of infectious syphilis in females aged 15 to 39 years. There were 50 cases of confirmed congenital syphilis in 2020.
|Year||Number of confirmed congenital syphilis cases||Female rate (15-39 years old) per 100,000 women|
* Note there was a revision to the original infographic related to congenital syphilis case counts.
* Data was directly obtained from all provinces and territories (PTs). Ten PTs submitted data for the full calendar year of 2020 while three PTs (NB, NL and NU) provided partial counts; annual counts were estimated. Data for 2020 is preliminary.
- Footnote 1
Survey of the impact of COVID-19 on the ability to provide STBBI prevention, testing and treatment including harm reduction services in Canada. Public Health Agency of Canada, Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control. 2021.
- Footnote 2
gbMSM: Gay, bisexual and other men that have sex with men.
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Health, 2021 | Cat.: HP40-280/2020E-PDF | ISBN: 978-0-660-39207-3 | Pub.: 210138
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