• Continuing high prevalence in men who have sex with men and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and increasing prevalence in major cities.
  • Recent concerning increase in prevalence in the general population, especially in women of reproductive age, so low threshold for testing is required.
  • Syphilis in pregnant people has led to the re-emergence of congenital syphilis. If diagnosed during pregnancy, seek urgent specialist advice and ensure urgent and active recall for treatment.
  • There are multiple ongoing outbreaks across Australia, especially in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote areas.
  • Syphilis registries can provide information and support in some states and territories.

There is currently a shortage of both strengths of Bicillin L-A (benzathine benzylpenicillin tetrahydrate) prefilled syringes for injection (600,000 units per syringe and 1.2 million units per syringe). The shortage is expected to last into 2024. During the shortage, the TGA have approved the importation and supply of Benzylpenicillin Benzathine (Brancaster Pharma, UK). Refer to the TGA notice and Fact Sheet for more information.

GPs should be aware their community pharmacies may not have supply of Benzylpenicillin Benzathine (Brancaster) and they may need to be proactive in ensuring access for their patients from local hospitals and publicly funded sexual health services.