Guideline update: universal syphilis screening at 36 weeks gestation
October 10, 2023
As you may be aware, the Queensland Syphilis in Pregnancy Guideline (SiP) has recently been updated. For all women and people who are pregnant, irrespective of risk, routine syphilis screening is now recommended at first antenatal visit, at 26-28 weeks gestation, and again at 36 weeks gestation. It is crucial that patients diagnosed with syphilis in pregnancy receive antenatal care at the earliest opportunity.
Clinicians are encouraged to refer to the guideline when providing care during pregnancy and to access the Queensland Health endorsed ‘ASK’ (Antenatal Sexual health Kit) program for training in how to undertake sexual health assessments during pregnancy.
For reactive syphilis serology, it is essential that advice is sought from the Queensland Syphilis Surveillance Service (QSSS) regarding past treatment and serology history. Options for referral to an expert practitioner to develop a plan of care for treatment and follow-up will be discussed. The QSSS can be contacted via telephone (1800 032 238) or email:
- South Queensland - QLD-Syphilis-Surveillance-Service@health.qld.gov.au
- North Queensland - North-Qld-Syphilis-Surveillance-Centre@health.qld.gov.au
The Syphilis in Pregnancy guideline is accompanied by a supplement which presents the methodology, levels of evidence, and suggested implementation methods. The supplement is integral to and should be read in conjunction with the guideline. Consumer information, flowcharts and education presentations and knowledge assessments aligned to the guidelines are available from the QCG website: www.health.qld.gov.au/qcg
Please contact Queensland Clinical Guidelines at Guidelines@health.qld.gov.au if you wish to provide feedback and register your interest for future clinical guideline reviews.