Syphilis

By Zena Karam

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease which is produced by spirochete (a type of bacteria).

How is Syphilis Transmitted?

Syphilis can be transported through direct contact when people have sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral sex). In addition, Syphilis can be transmitted through pregnancy and from objects like towels and toilet seats.

What are the Symptoms?

Primary Syphilis:



  • red, firm, and wet sores on genitals, rectum, or mouth (also known as chancres)
  • may have swollen glands


Secondary Syphilis:


  • break out in rash (on hands and feet)
  • flu-like symptoms
  • sometimes sores, but is not common in secondary stage


  1. Latent Syphilis- the bacteria is still in the body
  2. Tertiary Syphilis- affects brain and causes numbness, blindness, and even death

How can you Treat this?

Early Stages:


Mainly antibiotics are given to treat the patient.


Later Stages:


Even though there is nothing really available to treat the patients during the later stages (since it has already affected the whole body already), some patients might continue to take antibiotics.

What are the Problems that Occur When Having Syphilis?

  • it infects major organs
  • causes brain damage
  • causes birth defects through pregnancy
  • higher risk of having an HIV infection

How can you Prevent Getting Syphilis?

  • don't have sex
  • if you decide to have sex, have few sexual partners
  • use protection
  • wear latex condoms