Health board warn about syphilis

NHS Lanarkshire is carrying out an awareness drive to ensure young people know about syphilis, how to get information on the sexually transmitted infection, and where to get tested if they have been at risk.

Pupils in S4, S5 and S6 are being warned of the dangers of syphilis following an increase of cases diagnosed in Lanarkshire.

During 2012 and 2013, there has been an increase in the number of cases of syphilis diagnosed in young people under 25 in Lanarkshire compared to previous years.

NHS Lanarkshire has been working jointly with Health Protection Scotland, Terrence Higgins Trust, Waverley Care and Lanarkshire councils to address the issue.

Actions taken already to increase awareness of the rise in cases of syphilis have included providing information to the media, information leaflets, and updates through the Lanarkshire sexual health website, Facebook and Twitter.

Additional sexual health clinics have been provided to enable testing of people who have responded to the information provided.An appointment can be made at a sexual health clinic by calling 0845 618 7191. The line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 4.45pm. This option is recommended for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of syphilis.

For more information about syphilis and details of local sexual health services, including how to get tested for syphilis and access free condoms, visit www.lanarkshiresexualhealth.org.