Seroepidemiology of syphilis among men who have sex with men in Burkina Faso, West Africa

Henri Gautier Ouedraogo, Sylvie Zida, T. Rebeca Compaore, B. Hermann Lanou, Amrita Rao, Tani Sagna, Cisse Kadari, Grissoum Tarnagda, Odette Ky-Zerbo, Yves Traore, Stefan Baral, Seni Kouanda, Nicolas Barro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Men who have sex with men (MSM) have a disproportionate risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as syphilis. However, prevalence and determinants of syphilis among this population are less known in West Africa. This study aims to estimate syphilis prevalence among MSM in Burkina Faso. We conducted a cross-sectional biological and behavior survey in the two main cities of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. MSM were recruited using Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) methods. Data were collected from January to April 2013 in Ouagadougou and from May to August 2013 in Bobo-Dioulasso. Out of the 657 MSM screened for syphilis, 6.1% (40/657) tested positive for Treponema pallidum antibodies and 1.1% (7/657) for active syphilis. Population-weighted prevalence of active syphilis was 2.1% (95% CI, 01.1–04.4) in Ouagadougou and 0.0% in Bobo-Dioulasso. Serologic markers of syphilis (anti-Treponema antibodies) were found among 7.4% (95% CI 5.0–10.8) of MSM in Ouagadougou and 5.0% (95% CI 3.1–8.0) in Bobo-Dioulasso. No significant differences were found in syphilis serological markers prevalence by participants’ sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics. The prevalence of syphilis among MSM is low and comparable to that of other individuals of reproductive age in Burkina Faso. This low prevalence is very encouraging and suggests implementation of effective public health intervention programs which direct resources and services toward MSM to prevent further spread of syphilis infection and to limit HIV transmission in this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1803-1809
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Burkina Faso
  • Epidemiology
  • MSM
  • Syphilis
  • Treponema pallidum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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