Jakarta, IO – Cases of syphilis, caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum, in Indonesia have increased by 70 percent in the past five years from 12,484 in 2018 to 20,783 in 2022, with Papua the highest (3,864), noted Health Ministry (Kemenkes) as reported by CNNIndonesia, Friday (12/5).
The second worst affected region is West Java (3,186) followed by Jakarta (1,897). Kemenkes prevention and control of infectious diseases director Imran Pambudi said the increase in was due to increased screenings. According to him, this is actually good because mitigation efforts can be done more precisely.
“The more cases detected, the more people can be treated soon so they won’t go on to infect others, especially pregnant women who can transmit the disease to their babies,” said Imran.
Kemenkes also noted that 63 percent of the patients are in the 25-49 age group. The men-women ratio was 54 percent versus 46 percent.
Kemenkes spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi confirmed that the availability of syphilis drug stocks in Indonesia is sufficient amid the spike of cases. The drugs commonly used for syphilis treatment are penicillin benzathine, erythromycin or doxycycline.
The symptoms of syphilis are characterized by the appearance of small, painless sores in the sexual organs, rectum or mouth. It can spread through direct contact with affected areas, usually during sex. However, a person won’t contract it from sitting on a toilet seat, touching doorknob or other shared objects. (un)