Syphilis outbreak awareness campaign

This campaign has been developed in response to the outbreak of syphilis in the Perth metropolitan area. Of concern is the increase in cases of women of childbearing age, due to the risk of congenital syphilis.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of syphilis in women and encourage STI testing of females aged 16–40 years in the Perth metropolitan area.

If you think you might be at risk, ask your doctor or sexual health provider for a syphilis blood test.

For more information visit HealthyWA.

Objectives
  • Raise awareness amongst health providers about the outbreak in infectious syphilis amongst females of childbearing age and recent occurrences of congenital syphilis in the Perth metropolitan area.
  • Raise awareness amongst health providers that testing guidelines have changed for target demographics, including pregnant women.
  • Raise awareness amongst target audience (consumer) about the risk of getting and spreading syphilis.
  • Increase syphilis testing of target audience (consumer) who are of childbearing age in the Perth metropolitan area in 2020.
  • Increase repeat syphilis testing of target audience (consumer) during antenatal care.
Key messages

Overarching message

  • Syphilis rates are rising, particularly amongst females in the Perth metropolitan area.

To consumers:

  • Cases of syphilis in women are increasing in Perth metropolitan area.
  • If you are sexually active, ask your doctor or health provider for a syphilis blood test.
  • Syphilis is highly contagious and can be easily spread through intimate contact or unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex.
  • At first, many people with syphilis have no symptoms.
  • Syphilis in pregnancy can cause life-long disability for the child, miscarriage, still birth or infant death.

To health providers:

  • An outbreak of syphilis has been declared in the Perth metropolitan region.
  • Cases of pregnant women with syphilis and congenital syphilis have recently been reported.
  • Testing guidelines have changed for target demographics, including pregnant women. Consult the Silver Book for testing frequency. If in doubt do a test.
  • Practise opportunistic testing of the target demographic.

Reinfection is possible, offer/practice repeat testing of the target demographic, including pregnant women.

Target audience
  • Women aged 16–40 in Perth metropolitan area
  • Health providers: GPs, sexual health clinics, street doctors, and EDs
Timing

August 2020 – October 2020

Campaign materials

You are encouraged to download and share these materials to help us reach our target audience and achieve our campaign objectives.

Please be in touch if you need alternative formats and let us know how you are using these materials. Thanks for your support.

Poster

A4 campaign poster – (PDF 3.6MB)
syphilis awareness poster: many cartoon faces on a yellow background

Social media

Social media tile (JPG 298KB)
Many cartoon faces on a yellow background with slogan easy to catch easy to treat

Contact us

The campaign is coordinated by the Sexual Health Blood-borne Virus Program (SHBBVP) program team in conjunction with the Communications Directorate.

Contact us if you need further information or materials in alternative formats.

Email: communications@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 19-08-2020
Produced by

Public Health