Syphilis

By: Mia Kelly

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is an STD (sexually transmitted disease) that can cause long-term complications if not treated right away or treated correctly.

What causes Syphilis?

Syphilis is caused by being in direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

What does syphilis look like and where can it be found?

Syphilis can be found on the penis, vagina, the rectum, anus, on the lips, or in the mouth.

How can I treat syphilis?

To know if you have syphilis, you should get tested first. Talk to your care provider and ask where you can get tested for syphilis and maybe any other diseases you think you might have.

How do I know if I have syphilis?

Syphilis comes in four stages.


  1. Primary Stage: During this stage, you may notice a single sore and multiple sores. This sore or sores are in the location that the syphilis entered your body. These sores are usually round, firm, and painless.
  2. Secondary Stage: You may have skin rashes or sores in your mouth, vagina, or anus. This can show up when your primary sore is healing or several weeks after the sore has healed.
  3. Latent and Late stages: This stage is when all the sores you had have disappeared. Some people that go untreated with syphilis don't even reach this stage.

What are the symptoms?

Some people with syphilis don't have symptoms. Sometimes syphilis can even show up 10-30 years after you get the infection. It all depends on the person. Syphilis symptoms can include not being able to move some of your body parts, (paralysis), numbness, blindness, and dementia (mental disorder). This disease can affect your internal organs, and even lead to death.

Can syphilis be cured?

Yes! Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics from your health care provider. However, if not treated, this can lead to serious complications and death.