Dr Massimo Giola, member of the New Zealand Sexual Health Society, is calling for a free, publicly available testing programme for syphilis in South Auckland, to tackle the increasing rate of the epidemic, RNZ reports. According to Giola, many people are still being charged a consultation fee when being tested for the disease by their GP, which should not be the case as it is a public health issue. The Institute of Environmental Science and Research’s latest figures showed a noticeable jump in cases, from 629 recorded cases nationally in the 12 months leading up to December 2018, as opposed to 727 in December 2019.