The Truth About STI's: Syphilis

What Is This Disease?!

What Is Syphilis and How Do People Catch It?

Syphilis is an STD that is caused by a bacterium. It can cause long-term complications and/or death if it's not treated. It is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with syphilis sores and can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, and oral sexual contact. Pregnant women who have the disease can pass it on to their unborn baby if not treated regularly during the pregnancy.

How Do You Know You Have It? What Can Happen If It's Left Untreated?

A blood test is the most common way to clarify if someone has the disease. The first symptom appears in 21 days, but it can occur between 10 to 90 days. During the primary stage, there may be multiple firm, round, and painless sores. The location depends where syphilis entered the body. It can last 3 to 6 weeks with or without treatment, however, if not treated the person can go into the secondary stage. Symptoms of the secondary stage are rashes, lesions in warm and moist areas, fever, swollen nymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, weight loss, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches. If the person does not get treated, they can go into the late stage of syphilis. This stage may last for years which can show up in 10-30 years after the infection began. Symptoms of the late stage include difficulty coordinating muscles, paralysis, gradual blinding, numbness, and dementia. The disease can cause damages to the internal organs such as the heart, brain, nerves, eyes, etc. It can result to death.

How Do You Treat It And/Or Cure It?

Syphilis is easy to cure with appropriate antibiotics from a physician. To prevent it, insistent use of latex condoms can help reduce the disease. The surest way to prevent it is to stay away from sexual contact or to be in a long-term monogamous relationship with a person who has been treated and uninfected.

How Many People Contract the Disease On A Yearly Basis?

In the United States, 55,400 people get new syphilis sores annually. In 2012, 75% of primary and secondary syphilis occurred among men who are sexually active with other men, and there were 322 reports of children who have had it since birth.