Caring for your child starts before they are born. The month of April is Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Awareness Month and we are sharing some tips from our friends at the American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3 (AAP-CA3) to spread awareness about the importance of testing for syphilis during pregnancy to help prevent congenital syphilis in San Diego County.

What is congenital syphilis?

Congenital syphilis is syphilis that is passed to a baby during pregnancy. It can cause serious health problems for the baby including blindness and hearing loss, and untreated syphilis can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or death shortly after birth.

What can I do to prevent congenital syphilis?

If you are pregnant, you should be tested for syphilis at least twice during your pregnancy: 

  1. At your first prenatal visit 
  2. Early in your third trimester (between 28-32 weeks)

Your doctor may also recommend getting tested again when your baby is born.

Congenital syphilis is 100% preventable when syphilis is treated with antibiotics during pregnancy (treatment is also safe during pregnancy).

It is also important to talk to your partner(s) about testing and treatment as well to ensure you do not get reinfected or pass the infection on to your baby.

To learn more and for resources, visit: