THE importance of regular sexual health screenings is highlighted in a new animated short film by Victorian AIDS Council (VAC).

The film’s release comes among reports of a rise in diagnosis rates for syphilis.

Australian animator Michael Cusack collaborated with the VAC in creating Wayne & Kevin, a clip that highlights the symptoms of syphilis and seeks to break down the stigma attached with sexual health testing.

“Syphilis is a real concern for gay men and other MSM in Victoria,” VAC chief executive Simon Ruth said.

“[The promotion] is a down-to-earth approach that uses realistic language.”

The clip follows Wayne, who is advised by his cat Kevin that the rash forming on his chest after a recent hook-up with a guy “is syphilis, dipstick”.

Over the last five years there has been a steady rise in the diagnoses rates of syphilis in Victoria, and this latest health message aims to clear some of the misconceptions about it.

“The earlier a person recognises their symptoms, the sooner they can be treated, and the less likely the infection will be transmitted,” Melbourne Sexual Health Centre director Professor Christopher Fairley said.

Syphilis is highly contagious, and if left untreated, can damage the body’s internal organs and lead to fatal consequences.

The clip has received thousands of views after being posted earlier this month.

Watch the video:

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