The number of Syphilis cases in England has reached a seven-decade high, according to new figures.

Statistics published by Public Health England (PHE) show that instances of Syphilis in this country have risen by almost 3,000 cases since 2012 – that’s an increase of 97%. This alarming upsurge in positive cases means that Syphilis numbers in England are now at their highest level since 1949.

Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, claimed that the ‘unacceptably high’ figures highlighted an ‘urgent need to address the nation’s poor sexual health’.

Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Dr Brady said: “In this climate of cuts to local authorities’ public health budgets, this is particularly concerning. Now is not the time to be scaling back sexual health services. It is also now essential that Public Health England, the Department of Health and local authorities, ensure improved access to effective STI and HIV testing, treatment and prevention services. Otherwise, we cannot expect to address the ongoing sexual health crisis.”

Syphilis is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection, which is usually transmitted sexually. The infection can also be passed on through direct contact with someone who has a visible Syphilis sore, otherwise known as a Chancre. Chancres mainly occur on the external genitals, vagina, anus or rectum, and mark the primary stage of the infection. Download our Better2Know Fact Sheet to find out more about Syphilis; including symptoms, stages, treatment and testing information.

Syphilis is curable, and early detection is central to limiting the infection’s impact. Testing is the only way to be certain of your STI status, protecting not just your own health, but that of any current or future partners as well. If left untreated, Syphilis can cause significant long-term health problems, so stay safe and get yourself tested – it is always Better2Know.

Better2Know has a number of testing options for Syphilis. The infection can be tested for individually or as part of a combination or screen. Syphilis testing is also available as part of our Instant testing range. Using a simple blood sample, Better2Know can provide you with your results within 20 minutes of receiving your sample. For a full list of the Syphilis and STI tests we offer, please visit our website.

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