The Two Faces of Syphilis: A Call for Sustained, National and Coordinated Responses to Syphilis

Montréal, 22–23 November 2016

Syphilis has re-emerged in Canada during the last decade with epidemics now rooted in both urban and rural settings. While gay men are still at the centre of the urban epidemics, there is now a transition in the epidemiological pattern with increasing numbers of cases identified among northern heterosexual Indigenous men and women with the reappearance of congenital syphilis cases.

To support responses to syphilis, NCCID, in partnership with the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) and the Urban Public Health Network (UPHN), hosted a knowledge exchange forum in Montreal, November 22-23 2016. This forum brought together 42 public health specialists from across Canada. Practitioners, program coordinators, epidemiologists, researchers, policy makers, community-based partners and knowledge brokers gathered to share on ways to improve public health interventions on syphilis in Canada.

This forum created a space for participants to share on rural and urban perspectives, key challenges, gaps and new avenues and discuss relevant lessons for strengthening syphilis control and management at local, regional and national levels. Participants identified some hand-on and upstream strategies. Some presentations and a summary report will soon be available.

The goal was to provide information and ideas about promising practices with a focus on local contexts and affected populations. The specific objectives included:

  • To share the current state of syphilis outbreaks, highlighting what we know about the burden with an emphasis on what is new and what has changed recently.
  • To share innovative ways of surveillance to better tailor public health responses and inform public health strategies.
  • To share evidence-based, practice-based, and client-centered knowledge to improve public health interventions and partner notification activities.
  • To provide opportunities to discuss population-specific challenges and ways of adapting innovative and integrated public health strategies.

You can view the full agenda here.