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Home News NMDOH Orders Increase in Syphilis Testing of All Pregnant Women to Prevent Congenital Syphilis in Babies
Matt Bieber
505-470-2290 Office

NMDOH Orders Increase in Syphilis Testing of All Pregnant Women to Prevent Congenital Syphilis in Babies


Public Health Order (PHO) Signed into Effect August 18th  

SANTA FE- On September 29th, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) issued a Public Health Order (PHO) mandating that all medical providers serving pregnant women follow best practices by testing all pregnant women for syphilis multiple times.  

Congenital syphilis - when syphilis is passed from mother to child - presents a significant public health threat because it can lead to serious birth defects, miscarriage and infant death. Congenital syphilis and these complications are entirely preventable with timely testing and treatment.    

All medical providers serving pregnant women must follow these best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) beginning Sept. 29, 2021, upon consent of the patient. 

·     Syphilis testing for all pregnant women in their 1st trimester (or initial prenatal visit) and 3rd trimester (28-32 weeks gestational age).

·     Syphilis testing for all pregnant women again at delivery.

·     Syphilis testing for all pregnant women who present to an urgent care center or an emergency room if the patient has not received prior prenatal care.

·     Syphilis testing of any woman with an intrauterine fetal demise at any gestational age.

·     Syphilis testing for all pregnant women at correctional facilities, including prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers, at the intervals and events ordered herein. 

Syphilis is a reportable sexually transmitted disease (STD) with cases tracked by DOH. The Department’s data shows that New Mexico has followed national trends; rates of syphilis have increased steadily since 2000. With stark increases in rates of primary and secondary syphilis in New Mexico since 2017, the state now ranks second in the nation, according to the CDC. 

DOH encourages all pregnant women to get tested for syphilis as soon as the first prenatal visit. You can protect yourself and prevent future complications with your baby with a simple test. If syphilis is detected, treatment can be as easy as one visit. Syphilis testing is available from medical providers, as well as for free at any NMDOH Public Health Office. Persons interested in testing can find a location near them using www.nmstdtest.org


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Matt Bieber at 505-470-2290 (Office) with your questions.