Increasing trend of syphilis in Greenland and Finland

The sexually transmitted disease syphilis is spreading in Greenland and in Finland, reports the Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq and the Finnish national broadcaster Yle respectively.

From having been virtually eradicated, syphilis has in recent years become more widespread in Greenland. In 2020, 140 cases of the disease were registered on the island. Now the regional hospital in Sisimiut encourages all citizens to get tested if they suspect infection.

The number of syphilis infections has also risen significantly in Finland. This year, more cases of the disease have already been registered than in the whole of last year, according to the Finnish National Infectious Diseases Register.

“Previously, syphilis only had a foreign origin and when you got symptoms you went to the doctor. But now syphilis has become symptom-free, so it has time to spread in Finland before the person with the disease notices it and gets tested”, says Eija Hiltunen-Back, a specialist in sexually transmitted diseases, to Yle.

Condom use and testing after unprotected intercourse with a new partner are key measures to prevent the disease from spreading.