Syphilis Is On The Rise!

Cases of the bacterial sexually transmitted infection Syphilis have increased both nationally and throughout the south west. New diagnoses of syphilis in England increased rapidly from 2013 to 2018 (3,344 to 7,541) with an increase of 5.5% between 2017 and 2018. While 75% of these cases are present in men who have sex with men, we are also seeing increased numbers in heterosexuals and babies born to infected mothers.

Have fun but please be careful! Remember that syphilis can be passed on easily through oral sex as well as vaginal and anal sex. It often can have no symptoms, so regular STI testing and condom use is recommended to protect yourself. It can be cured with antibiotics, but left untreated, syphilis does not go away and can cause serious long term health complications.

We recommend retesting for syphilis if you have ulcers anywhere on the genitals or around the bottom, you are a contact of syphilis (it can take up to 12 weeks to show up as positive on a test after sex), if you have a bisexual partner or are a man who has sex with men, if you’ve had a new partner since you last tested for syphilis during your current pregnancy or if you want one! Contact us if you are in doubt.

If you think you may have been at risk please check our SWISH webpage for more information on your local sexual health clinic details. For comprehensive information on syphilis infection go to
Syphilis infection: “It’s easy to catch, easy and important to treat”