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Syphilis at Beats
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beatIt was about about 3 years ago that we first started talking about a syphilis outbreak that was threatening to get out of control here in Perth and since that time we have seen those numbers reduce through letting the community know, people getting tested, early detection and then treatment for those who needed it. The community really got behind this information and should be congratulated for understanding that to contain this sort of outbreak testing is such an important element of good sexual health.

However, it seems that in the last quarter of 2012 we have seen another increase in syphilis notifications which means we could be on the verge of another major outbreak here in Perth. This is not to alarm people in the community but to bring to people’s attention that we need to remain vigilant and not become complacent about our sexual health, well being and getting into regular STI testing habits.

A number of clients how have contracted syphiis have potenially contracted it from beat activity at Burswood Park. We have to get the word out to our sexual partners that this is happening and to look at the sexual activity we are involved in and assess the risks. We need to remember that we can have syphilis and not even know we’ve got it and if we do not get it treated it can lead to further health problems.

Anyone can get syphilis but men who have sex with men account for the majority of the cases of infectious syphilis here in Perth.

So how do you know if you have syphilis?

Well to start with you don’t always know unless you have a blood test. You might not notice symptoms or may miss them. Some of the signs and symptoms of syphilis can include a small painless sore in your mouth, on your balls, dick and arse.  They can also include swollen lymph glands, rashes, sore throat, fever, muscle aches and tiredness.  It is important to remember though that some of these symptoms may be mild and they can come and go, or even go away completely.  This does not mean that the infection has gone.
It can take up to 3 months to show up in a blood test, so regular testing is what we need to build into our routines to ensure that any outbreak does not spread exponentially through our intimate networks.
You can get tested for syphilis and other STI’s at the MClinic – for more information and opening hours please call (08) 9227 0734.

 

 


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  • Testing Services

    Wanting to find out where you can get an anonymous confidential sexual health check? The Sauna Sexual Health Service and the M Clinic provide sexual health information testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs).

     

     

  • Peer Support

    Want to find out what it is like for other guys? Want to get support and information from guys who understand where you are coming from? The Project X Team from the Gay/MSM Program at the WA AIDS Council adopts a peer education model in our health promotion, outreach and education. All our programs are run by Gay/MSM guys and one to one peer support is also available.