Sept. 25, 2017: DOH Campaign Aims to Reverse Rising Rates of Syphilis

The N.J. Department of Health, joined by NJHA and other healthcare groups, is promoting public and provider awareness of the risks of syphilis for women of reproductive age.

The “Protect Your Baby from Syphilis” campaign promotes the importance of getting tested and treated for syphilis, a disease that can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, early infant death or severe illness in infants who survive. DOH notes that the national rate of syphilis is at its highest point in 15 years, even though congenital syphilis is preventable.

Providers are encouraged to be active in preventing congenital syphilis. DOH offers several recommendations, which also were shared with the healthcare community yesterday through a LINCS alert:

  • Ensure early prenatal care and initial screening for all pregnant women.
  • Increase risk assessment in pregnant women and perform additional screening when indicated.
  • Treat patients infected with syphilis immediately.
  • Talk to patients about their sexual health and history.
  • Screen all sex partners for syphilis.
  • Immediately report all cases of syphilis and congenital syphilis to DOH’s sexually transmitted disease program.

DOH also has made available a number of resources to educate healthcare consumers about this important public health issue. Posters are available in multiple languages, and social media posts are using the hashtag #teSTD4baby to help spread the word. Visit the webpage to access the materials.