Syphilis is on the rise among men and women in Victoria, the health department warns.

The sexually transmitted disease is increasing among men who have sex with men, and women, Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said on Monday.

There were 1372 cases of infectious syphilis reported in Victoria in 2018, up 21 from the year before, with the majority of notified cases occurring among men.

“Syphilis can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex. It can also be spread through skin-to-skin contact if the syphilis rash is present,” the warning states.

Congenital syphilis has also made a comeback in Victoria for the first time since 2004 with two cases in 2017, and another two in 2018, resulting in two fetal deaths.

KIIS 1011 Melbourne