Health reports suggest that syphilis is re-emerging across some parts of the UK.

While sexual health experts call for the health authorities to tackle the outbreak, those on the front line have reported a “worrying increase” in the number of cases, including a dramatic increase of cases in men who have sex with men (MSM).

There has also been a rise in the number of Gonorrhoea and Chlamidia in recent years.

More than 2,000 cases of syphilis were diagnosed in MSM, and experts worry that the situation has worsened since.

Dr Wallace Dinsmore, one of the UK’s principal GUM clinicians says the public need to start taking syphilis seriously: “syphilis is something that is now a daily occurrence. The spread of the infection is very simply because more people are having unprotected sex more often. syphilis is an STI which if left untreated can cause mental deterioration, blindness, deafness, all sorts of issues with the central nervous system and eventually leads to early death. It needs to be tested for and treated!”

Sexual Health specialists are backing the #TakeTheTest campaign to encourage people to take responsibility for their own sexual health, promoting protection and detection, this Valentine’s Day.

Confidante – the home STI test kit is spear heading the campaign.

Dr Gary Smyth, Medical Director at Confidante says there needs to be greater awareness of syphilis among the MSM community: “One of the most worrying things about syphilis is that it may go unnoticed and untreated. The initial symptoms can appear anywhere between 10 days to 3 months after exposure to the infection. A sore or ulcer will present – this sore is usually painless and therefore it might be over looked and so the STI can be passed on without you realising you have an infection. The sore will then disappear within 2 to 6 weeks and if the condition is not tested for and treated, syphilis will move onto its second stage.

No one wants syphilis or indeed any other STI for Valentine’s Day. My advice, if you are concerned is to #TakeTheTest, either by using the Confidante home test kit or at your local GUM clinic. The key message here is that it is better to know.”

Confidante is the only home STI kit to detect 10 of the most common STIs including syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. It is easy to use, accurate and completely confidential. Confidante can be purchased online or over the counter at selected pharmacies across the UK and ROI.

Confidante is a PinkNews advertiser.