What do I need to know before I travel?
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Syphilis in Japan - Update 1

18 Jan 2023

The Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases reported 12 966 cases of syphilis in 2022, a total which is 1.6 times more than the 7983 recorded in 2021. The infection was reported from across the country, but the cities of Tokyo and Osaka have seen the greatest numbers of cases.

Syphilis is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is treatable with antibiotics, but if left untreated can cause serious health problems. It is becoming more common around the world, and from time to time there are outbreaks.

Advice to Travellers

The best way to prevent STIs is to have safer sex:

  • for detailed information, see The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) Guide to Safer Sex

Take condoms with you when you travel, even if you aren’t planning to have sex, and always use them:

  • partaking of excess alcohol and recreational drugs can increase your likelihood of having unprotected sex

If you have had a new sexual partner whilst travelling, you should get a sexual health screen when you return home. Your local sexual health clinic can be located on the following websites:

See the fitfortravel Sexual Health Risks page for additional information.