Congenital Syphilis: A Preventable STD On The Rise In Newborns
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This resurgence shows that we are missing opportunities to screen and treat pregnant women for STDs in both public and private health care systems. To stop this resurgence, we need to embrace the theme of STD Awareness Month and take three easy steps:
- Talk openly to your partner(s) and your healthcare provider about sexual health and STDs.
- Test. It’s the only way to know for sure if you have an STD.
- If you test positive for an STD, work with your doctor to get the correct treatment.
Primary prevention, partner services, and prenatal screening and treatment are essential to CS prevention. Because late or inadequate of pregnant women is a leading cause of CS, it is crucial to prevent syphilis in women of reproductive age.
There is much that we as individuals can do to protect our health by talking to our health care providers. Both public health and private clinicians can do more by taking sexual histories, screening pregnant women, and partnering with local health departments. A case of congenital syphilis is a sentinel public health event, so preventing it is a public and individual health necessity.