Syphilis is on the increase – especially amongst gay and bisexual men. Over the last five years, the numbers of people in the UK diagnosed with syphilis has more than doubled.
Many of us haven't heard about syphilis, or know little about it. You might think it's something that was common in the 1970s and has gone away! But syphilis is back – and it's back in a big way.
Left untreated, syphilis can have serious implications on our health. In its later stages, it can cause serious and potentially life-threatening problems.
Testing for syphilis is free and easy in UK, but many people with syphilis don't know they have it. Treating syphilis, whilst sometimes unpleasant, means that syphilis can't be passed on to sexual partners.
As public health budgets get cut, lots of people who need to know about syphilis (and get tested or treated for it) don't know about how it is prevented, treated or cured.
It's time for that to change.
What we're going to do
We're crowd funding to raise money to run a new syphilis awareness education campaign across the summer. We're building a big new awareness website with everything to know about syphilis; plastering bars and venues with information and flyers; and sending outreach workers out to talk to people about syphilis.
Every penny raised through the crowd funder will go to cover the web build, the photography, print and design of the programme. We'll use the funding to ensure that people know how and where to get tested for syphilis.
What we want to achieve
We want to make sure that syphilis is back on the radar of people who need to know about it. We want to make sure that those who are most likely to get syphilis know about its symptoms, how it is prevented, how to treat it, and where to go for testing and treatment. We want to ensure that syphilis isn't just thought of as something that was over in the 1970s!
Who we are
The campaign is being brought to you from the folks behind PrEPster (the big UK PrEP awareness programme) and so we're experienced in running community health education campaigns! Collectively, we have over 50 years experience of running community-based sexual health initiatives.
PrEPster and Long Time No Syphilis are projects of The Love Tank Community Interest Company, a not-for-profit community health initiative.