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Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, urges health professionals to confront the rising syphilis infections. Recent data shows a threefold increase in diagnoses over the past decade. Of particular concern is the sixfold rise among women, with congenital cases climbing by 68 per cent. This poses grave risks to infants, including stillbirth and neonatal death.

Professor Kelly emphasizes immediate action, stating, “The syphilis epidemic in Australia is past a tipping point…we must act now.” Congenital syphilis is preventable through routine testing during pregnancy. Health professionals must integrate this into antenatal care and stay updated on best practices.

Syphilis is both preventable and curable. Early detection and effective treatment are crucial. Professor Kelly recommends utilizing resources from the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM). These include guidelines for primary care and a decision-making tool.

In conclusion, combating syphilis requires a united effort from healthcare professionals. By staying informed and utilising available resources, we can halt its spread and protect future generations.

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