Syphilis is on the rise, it’s time to do it better

Syphilis is on the rise in South Australia. Now is the time for better sex.

What is syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Syphilis is usually passed on during anal, oral or vaginal sex. It is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area.


Why get tested?

There is currently an outbreak of infectious syphilis in South Australia.

Syphilis can have serious health consequences if left untreated. However, syphilis is easy to cure if found early.

If untreated, syphilis can damage the brain, vision, heart, veins, liver, bones, muscles and joints. Syphilis in pregnancy can harm babies.

Being a better sexual partner means getting regular STI tests.


How do I get checked for syphilis?

Talk to a GP or visit a sexual health clinic. A health worker will take blood to test for syphilis. If there is a sore they may swab it.

If you’re unsure about seeing your local GP or health service, then consider going to a different practice or a sexual health clinic such as SHINE SA.

Remember STI testing is part of regular health care and your appointments are confidential.


How do I prevent syphilis?

  • Use condoms, dams and gloves when you have sex.
  • Make sure semen, blood, vaginal or anal fluid are not passed between partners.
  • Talk about any past infections with your sexual partner/s.
  • Get tested regularly.

How do I do it better?

Getting regular STI tests is just one part of having better sex. Better sex is all about safety, pleasure and respect.

It’s using condoms or dental dams.

It’s checking in on your partner during sex to see if they’re enjoying the sex you’re having.

It’s having a chat with your sexual partner/s to see what they’re into and respecting any boundaries they have.

It’s enthusiastic consent, or it’s nothing.


More resources

Speak to SHINE SA