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WHO Guidelines

Governance guidance for the validation of elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis

World Health Organization, 2020

This governance guidance provides further detail on the standardized structure and processes used to validate the elimination of the mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and syphilis. This publication serves alongside and as a supplement to the Global guidance on the criteria and processes for validation: elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis (global EMTCT guidance), the four country assessment tools on EMTCT of HIV and syphilis and the pre-assessment tool on EMTCT of HIV and syphilis and termed path to elimination (PTE).

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WHO Guidelines

Dual HIV/syphilis rapid diagnostic tests can be used as the first test in antenatal care

World Health Organization, 2019

WHO recommends that pregnant women receive testing for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B (HBSAg) at least once during pregnancy, preferably in the first trimester.

Dual HIV/syphilis rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) can be used as the first test for pregnant women as part of antenatal care (ANC) in place of an HIV-only RDT.

These simple tests can be used at the point-of-care and are cost-saving compared to standard testing in ANC. They enable more women to be diagnosed with HIV and syphilis so that they can access treatment and prevent transmission to their children.

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WHO Guidelines

Global guidance on criteria and processes for validation: Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis / 2nd edition

World Health Organization, 2017

Outlines minimum global processes and criteria for validation of elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and/or syphilis in a country.

In addition, this document provides guidance on how countries can achieve recognition of a “path to elimination;” provides a description of global EMTCT validation targets and indicators; explains the operation of validation committees and secretariats; and reviews the validation procedure itself, including maintenance of validation status.

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WHO Guidelines

WHO guideline on syphilis screening and treatment for pregnant women

World Health Organization, 2017

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.​

This guideline provides updated recommendations for syphilis screening and treatment for pregnant women based on the most recent evidence and available serologic tests for syphilis.

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WHO Guidelines

WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience

World Health Organization, 2016

This comprehensive WHO guideline provides global, evidence-informed recommendations on routine antenatal care. The guidance aims to capture the complex nature of the issues surrounding ANC health care practices and delivery and to prioritize person-centered health and well-being, not only the prevention of death and morbidity, in accordance with a human rights-based approach.

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WHO Guidelines

WHO Guidelines for the Treatment of Treponema pallidum (syphilis)

World Health Organization, 2016

Outlines rationale, objectives, target audience, and structure of guidelines for the treatment of Treponema pallidum (syphilis).​

Provides evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of specific clinical conditions caused by Treponema pallidum which includes early latent, late latent, and congenital syphilis.

Supports and provides directions to countries as they develop national treatment recommendations.

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WHO Guidelines

Laboratory diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections, including human immunodeficiency virus

World Health Organization, 2013

This manual provides a basic understanding of the principles of laboratory tests in the context of screening and diagnostic approaches, as well as antimicrobial susceptibility testing, as components of STI control. Syphilis is addressed in Chapter 10.

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WHO Guidelines

Investment case for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of syphilis
Promoting better maternal and child health and stronger health systems

World Health Organization, 2012

Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of syphilis (commonly referred to as “congenital syphilis”) is relatively simple to eliminate and it is inexpensive to detect and treat, making it a possible “easy win” in terms of cost, feasibility and speed of scale-up.

Investing in screening and treatment for syphilis in pregnant women ranks as one of the most cost-effective antenatal interventions. Screening all pregnant women, using simple and low-cost technologies, is feasible, even in low-resource settings. Syphilis is easily cured with penicillin, and MTCT of syphilis is easily prevented when pregnant mothers with syphilis infection are identified early and treated promptly. Penicillin is off patent, widely available, on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of essential medicines and, above all, inexpensive.