Sexual and reproductive health

WHO guidelines for the treatment of Treponema pallidum (syphilis)


Front cover

Publication details

Number of pages: 44
Publication date: 2016
Languages: English
ISBN: ISBN 978 92 4 154971 4


Rationale for the guidelines

Since the publication of the WHO Guidelines for the management of sexually transmitted infections in 2003, changes in the epidemiology of STIs and advancements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment necessitate changes in STI management. These guidelines provide updated treatment recommendations for treatment of Treponema pallidum (syphilis) based on the most recent evidence. They form one of several modules of guidelines for specific STIs. Other modules will focus on treatments for Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhoea) and genital herpes simplex virus (genital HSV). In addition, future work will provide guidance for syphilis screening and treatment of pregnant women, STI syndromic approach, clinical management, STI prevention, and treatments of other STIs. It is strongly recommended that countries take updated global guidance into account as they establish standardized national protocols and adapt it to the local epidemiological situation and antimicrobial susceptibility data.


The objectives of these guidelines are:

  • to provide evidence-based guidance on treatment of infection with Treponema pallidum; and
  • to support countries to update their national guidelines for treatment of Treponema pallidum.

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