Screen all pregnant patients for syphilis, medical group says

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists updated its syphilis screening guidelines April 18, encouraging physicians to screen for the sexually transmitted infection three times during pregnancy.  

Initial testing should occur at a patient's first prenatal visit, followed by universal rescreening in the third trimester and again at birth, the group said. Previously, screening was only recommended during the third trimester for certain at-risk patients. 

"There has been a near eightfold increase in congenital syphilis cases in the last decade or more, and from a public health perspective, we recognize that obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care clinicians play a critical role," Christopher Zahn, MD, interim CEO and chief of clinical practice and health equity and quality for ACOG, said in a news release. "While we continue to endorse CDC's sexually transmitted infection treatment guidelines, ACOG's new guidance will no longer follow an individualized risk-based approach to testing later in pregnancy and instead help ensure more opportunities for testing and treatment."

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