There is a concern in New Zealand about the number of cases of congenital syphilis, and that testing in pregnancy is not routine. There is also a low incidence of testing as part of routine sexual health checks.
The New Zealand Sexual Health Society Guideline1 recommends a test for:
- men who have sex with men (at least annually or with every sexual health check)
- HIV positive (with every round of HIV bloods)
- routine antenatal screen and later in pregnancy
- sexual contacts of someone with syphilis
- routine sexual health check.
Signs or symptoms of infectious syphilis:
- genital ulcer
- men who have sex with men with any genital symptoms or rash
- any rash affecting palms or soles of feet
- pyrexia of unknown origin and/or persistent lymphadenopathy, alopecia, or unexplained liver function disturbance.
This Gem has been approved by Massimo Giola, Sexual Health Physician, Tauranga Hospital.