Syphilis rates are at their highest in 30 years in British Columbia. In 2015, nearly 500 cases of infectious syphilis were reported in our region, more than double the yearly cases reported a decade ago.
97% people with syphilis are men. More than 90% identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men (MSM). While syphilis rates have increased in all age groups, the largest increase is among 20 to 24-year-olds, marking a shift to younger men.
We recommend that men who have sex with men get tested every three to six months, and visit their healthcare provider if they have sores, bumps, a rash, blisters or warts on or around their genitals or anal area. Using condoms is also recommended.
To encourage men to get regularly tested we’re launching an awareness campaign. It includes posters, a webpage (www.checkhimout.ca/syphilis
), transit ads, and ads in newspapers and on dating websites.
Big thanks to Positive Living BC, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), YouthCO and Health Initiative for Men (HIM) for helping us create this.
For more information on how syphilis is spread and symptoms of the infection, visit the syphilis page