BC health officials warn of increasing rates of syphilis

syhilis

B.C. is experiencing some of the highest rates of infectious syphilis in the last 30 years.

The Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) are reminding British Columbians to speak with their health care professional about testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially those with new sexual partners, or people who are pregnant.

There were 919 new cases of infectious syphilis in B.C. in 2018, a rate of 18.4 per 100,000. This represents a 33 per cent increase from 2017. 

While syphilis continues to disproportionately affect gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in B.C., infections are also increasing among women. There has been a nearly 40 per cent increase of infectious syphilis among women 15 to 49 years old from 2017 to 2018.

Syphilis can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to their unborn child in pregnancy or during childbirth. 

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