I’m a contact of Syphilis!

What do you do now?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacteria, Treponema pallidum. Syphilis is spread by unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex. It can also be spread through intimate or skin to skin contact with an infected person. It is a very serious disease that can affect your central nervous system, brain and other organs. Because Syphilis can be very serious and it is possible to have Syphilis without experiencing any symptoms, it is important to test regularly and receive treatment and testing if you are a contact of Syphilis.

Get Tested For Syphilis


Provide this PDF guide to your GP: I’m a GP with a Syphilis Patient

It contains information to help your GP test and treat you for a potential Syphilis infection.


If you are diagnosed with Syphilis, it is important that you let all your sexual partners know to get tested.

How far back you need to go depends on what stage of syphilis you were diagnosed with, ranging from 3-24 months. Your doctor will let you know exactly how far back you to need to go.

There are many different ways you can tell your sexual partners.

  • Face to face
  • Phone call
  • SMS or other messenger
  • Hook-up app (grindr, scruff, tinder, etc)
  • Email
  • Letter
  • Public health units

If you are concerned about embarrassment or reprisal from contacts (e.g. domestic violence), you can seek assistance from a public health unit to undertake contact tracing in a way that minimizes your risk. You can speak to your doctor about how to go about this.

There are also websites available to help you to tell sexual partners anonymously, if you have their mobile number, email or postal address.