Cases of syphilis are on the rise, with Auckland Sexual Health Services noting that in some areas it is increasing due to poverty or inadequate healthcare access. Dr Sunita Azariah, a sexual health specialist, says, “We haven’t been given any additional resources to cope with this outbreak.” Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection which can be cured with antibiotics. Left untreated, it can affect the brain, spinal cord and other organs.