A report has shown a sharp rise in the number of syphilis cases in heterosexual teenagers in the UK. Clusters are being seen in Teesside, Hampshire, Rochdale and Scotland.

It can take months for outbreaks to be identified as syphilis can take 9 to 28 days for symptoms to occur. In this time, many new people can be infected if a person does not know that they are a carrier, and have not been tested or treated.

Early diagnosis and treatment is seen as crucial to prevent the spread of syphilis. Telling previous partners of any positive diagnosis is also essential and encourage them to get tested.

Syphilis can be easily treated with antibiotics and, if it is caught early enough the patient will make a full recovery with no lasting effects. Left untreated, syphilis can be fatal when it reaches its fourth stage.

If you are worried you may have syphilis, Better2Know can test you at any of our 60 nationwide STD clinics, we do not need your real name and your doctor will not know. Syphilis needs a blood sample, and can be tested on its own, as part of our Peace of Mind Screen (including Chlamydia and gonorrhoea) or part of a Full STD screen (including Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV, Hepatitis B, Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma).

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