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[Editorial] Syphilis: an ancient disease in a modern era

The first cases of syphilis in Europe were reported over 500 years ago in French soldiers invading Naples, Italy. Since then, the disease has been known by many names, including the great imitator, on account of its broad range of clinical manifestations in addition to genital lesions, and has been well described in the scientific and historical literature. Today, syphilis is readily treated with penicillin, and although common in low-income and middle-income countries where it is often associated with co-infection with HIV, it is scarce in developed settings.