News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Syphilis cases increasing among women


There has been a large increase in the number of cases of syphilis reported in New Zealand but many cases are going unreported, because it is often mistaken for other conditions.

In 2017 there were 400 cases reported by sexual health clinics, up 500% on the 80 reported in 2012.

MidCentral DHB Sexual Health Physician Dr Anne Robertson said: “Although most syphilis infections have been among men who have sex with other men, there are increasing numbers of women being infected. There are serious health risks to newborn babies if infection is acquired during or before pregnancy. Untreated it can cause stillbirths and congenital abnormalities.”

“The signs and symptoms of syphilis are under diagnosed. The initial ulcer is often painless and heals itself. The subsequent rash can be mild and can be easily mistaken for other conditions. It can present with visual symptoms which can mimic other eye conditions. It can also be asymptomatic,” said Dr Robertson.

Syphilis can cause chronic bone disease, chronic brain disease and even dementia. It can be fatal if left untreated.

Syphilis is spread through unprotected sex, including oral sex. It is diagnosed on a blood test.

The best way to prevent syphilis is to practise safer sex by using condoms.

Testing is free through MidCentral DHB’s Sexual Health Service, the Youth One Stop Shop or a GP. Pregnant women can contact their midwife.

The sexual health service has walk-in clinics on Monday and Friday mornings 0900-1200 (phone 0800 808 602 or 06 3508602 or see https://www.midcentraldhb.govt.nz/News/Pages/Free-Sexual-Health-Service-at-MidCentral-Health.aspx#).


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Book cover: New Zealand's Backyard BeastsScoop Review Of Books: Bug Report

You might be forgiven for being a little uncertain about what this non-fiction work is all about based just on its title, but the cover illustration steers you straight, and the content inside leaves you in no doubt about the purpose of this lovely book More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Best Music Tracks Of 2018

Oliver Godji, who records as Octavian, is a French/British/Angolan rapper based in London. As someone born in Lille, France, he didn’t qualify for welfare in Britain... More>>

Programme Launch: Pussy Riot Leads The Auckland Fringe

The full programme for Auckland Fringe arts festival 2019 has landed with a giant international announcement for the blockbuster programme which features Russian protest art collective Pussy Riot. They are set to make their New Zealand debut, coming to Auckland for one night only. More>>

Howard Davis: Three Reasons for Film Fans to Get Netflix

The past two months have finally seen Netflix come into its own, providing the financing for three films that will warm the hearts of cinephiles everywhere - Orson Welles' The Other Side of The Wind, The Coen Brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Alfonso Cuarón's Roma. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Rift by Rachael Craw

Rachael Craw's first series, Spark has been extremely well received by the YA community in both Australia and New Zealand (it has a hashtag, #SparkArmy), and The Rift looks like it’s going to be just as popular. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland