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Am Fam Physician. 2024;109(1):79-80

Related USPSTF Clinical Summary: Screening for Syphilis Infection in Nonpregnant Adolescents and Adults

This clinical content conforms to AAFP criteria for CME.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial relationships.

Case Study

A 42-year-old man presents as a new patient. He reports low back pain that has been radiating down his right leg for one week. Medical history is significant, with a recent gonorrhea infection treated with ceftriaxone. Family history includes diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and a parent with hepatitis C. The patient does not smoke or use drugs but sometimes has two to four beers per week. He is currently unemployed and living out of his car. He is sexually active with a new male partner and has inconsistent condom use. Review of systems is negative. Physical examination is consistent with a diagnosis of sciatic neuritis.

Case Study Questions

1. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation statement, this patient may be at increased risk of acquiring syphilis due to which of the following factors?

  • A. He is sexually active with a new male partner and has inconsistent condom use.

  • B. He has had a recent sexually transmitted infection.

  • C. He drinks an excessive amount of alcohol.

  • D. He has a parent with hepatitis C.

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This series is coordinated by Joanna Drowos, DO, contributing editor.

A collection of Putting Prevention Into Practice published in AFP is available at

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