Anyone who is having sex can get syphilis. But syphilis can be more common in different groups of people. If you’re having sex in networks of people where syphilis is more common, then you’re more likely to be exposed to it.

And whilst information about syphilis prevention and treatment applies to everyone, there’s additional information to know for different groups of people. There’s additional information to know, for example, depending on who you have sex with, if you’re pregnant or likely to become pregnant, or if you have other health conditions.
Syphilis and pregnancy
Syphilis and pregnancy
Free syphilis screening is available on the NHS to anyone who is pregnant. Treatment can then be offered to anyone who is pregnant who has syphilis.

If you have syphilis when you become pregnant or get syphilis during pregnancy, the infection can cause serious problems including miscarriage or stillbirth. If syphilis remains untreated during pregnancy then babies can be born with congenital syphilis – a severe and often life threatening infection in infants.
Living with HIV
Living with HIV
If you have HIV, then UK health guidance says that you should be given a syphilis test at your HIV treatment visit. Check with your HIV clinic that a syphilis test has been provided and if one hasn’t been offered, ask the clinic to do one.

You can also visit a sexual health clinic for syphilis and STI testing in between your HIV treatment visits. If you’re having lots of sex, it’s recommended to test for STIs every 3 months.