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Let’s Talk About Congenital Syphilis

I am Dr. Leandro Mena. I’m an infectious disease specialist and you can ask me anything.

Syphilis in pregnancy is a tremendous concern. We have seen historic increases in the case of congenital syphilis, which is a syphilis that happens when mothers who are infected with syphilis pass the infection in uterus during the pregnancy, and the result can be miscarriage or stillbirth.

But, if we treat syphilis in pregnancy, we can prevent congenital syphilis.

So, the good news is that congenital syphilis can be prevented if persons who are pregnant get tested and treated for syphilis 30 days before delivery.

So, that’s what’s so important that syphilis testing happens as early as possible during pregnancy. And sometimes it needs to be repeated.

This video is a joint production of KFF’s GREATER THAN and CDC’s LET’S STOP HIV TOGETHER. This information is shared for educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at the time of filming.

Always consult a healthcare provider for any personal health decisions. The marks “CDC” and “Let’s Stop HIV Together” are owned by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services and are used with permission. Use of these logos is not an endorsement by HHS or CDC of any particular product, service, or enterprise.