We estimated national-level trends in the prevalence of probable active syphilis in adult women using the Spectrum Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) model to inform program planning, target-setting, and progress evaluation in STI control. The model fitted smoothed-splines polynomial regressions to data from antenatal clinic surveys and screening and representative household surveys, adjusted for diagnostic test performance and weighted by national coverage. Eligible countries had ≥1 data point from 2010 or later and ≥3 from 2000 or later from adult populations considered representative of the general female population (pregnant women or community-based studies). Between 2012 and 2016, the prevalence of probable active syphilis in women decreased in 54 (41%) of 132 eligible countries; this decrease was substantive (≥10% proportionally, ≥0.10% percentage-point absolute difference and non-overlapping 95% confidence intervals in 2012 and 2016) in 5 countries. Restricting eligible data to prevalence measurements of dual treponemal and non-treponemal testing limited estimates to 85 countries; of these, 45 countries (53%) showed a decrease. These standardized trend estimates highlight the need for increased investment in national syphilis surveillance and control efforts if the World Health Organization target of a 90% reduction in the incidence of syphilis between 2018 and 2030 is to be met.
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