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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Neurosyphilis: Old Disease, New Implications for Emergency Physicians


Recent epidemiologic data demonstrate increasing rates of neurosyphilis, particularly among those in the community of men who have sex with men and those coinfected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Here we discuss a case of early neurosyphilis and new HIV diagnosis in a 27-year-old previously-healthy trans woman presenting for the second time with progressive, ascending weakness and cranial nerve VI palsy. Emergency physicians should consider this rare but highly morbid diagnosis, given the rising prevalence of neurosyphilis among at-risk patients and those with new neurologic deficits.

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