Our People to Live Stronger & Longer

Towards the Elimination of Congenital Syphilis in Australia

On the 15th May ASHM convened a national roundtable to address Australia’s syphilis epidemic and rising numbers of congenital syphilis which is having an impact in NSW.  Dr Kath and Kodie from our Public Health Team attended virtually and heard from government, community, research and healthcare representatives from across Australia. It was great to see presentations from our member service Waminda showcasing their delivery of culturally safe antenatal services and their Birthing on Country program. 

The major take home message from this event was the importance of screening for syphilis to avoid the avoidable and tragic outcome of congenital syphilis. A blood test for syphilis should always be included in an STI screen of our patients this will help us to stop any more cases of congenital syphilis occurring in NSW.  

The AH&MRC is committed to the elimination of Congenital Syphilis in Australia as a priority for Aboriginal communities across NSW. The AH&MRC will continue to upskill the Aboriginal STI/BBV workforce and support the NSW Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector to provide holistic, integrated and culturally safe primary health care, as a key preventative mechanism of congenital syphilis. We will continue our efforts to progress commitments made under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and strengthen healthcare systems to facilitate early detection and prompt treatment of syphilis infections. The AH&MRC will advocate for increased access to affordable and culturally safe services for Aboriginal people, particularly where syphilis rates may be disproportionately high. 

Clinical staff can access ASHM’s syphilis training and clinical resources using the Syphilis Learning Hub HERE.

Delegates of the ASHM Congenital Syphilis in Australia Roundtable
Delegates of the ASHM Congenital Syphilis in Australia Roundtable