What is it?
- Common and serious bacterial STD
- Caused by a bacteria that you can get from direct sexual contact
- Skin to skin contact STD
- There are 3 stages if it is allowed to progress
- Syphilis can be in your body for years, even if you have no signs or symptoms
How do you get it?
- Transmitted through any direct contact with the penis, vagina, mouth or anus of an already infected person
- Can be passed from a mother to her unborn baby, which can cause complications or a stillbirth
- Even if you have no symptoms, you can still pass it to others
- If you have been infected with Gonorrhea and are treated you can still become re-infected at a later time
- The ONLY way to know if you have Syphilis is to get tested
Syphilis can cause sores and rashes in the mouth, vagina, anus, on the palms of hands and the bottoms of feet.
- Primary Stage: Begins 10-90 days after infection with the appearance of a painless sore (chancre). It lasts 3-6 weeks and then disappears
- Secondary Stage: Skin rashes in the mouth, vagina, anus, palms of the hands, bottoms of the feet, or torso. Appears red, brown, or spotty and doesn’t usually itch
- Latent Stage: When primary and secondary symptoms disappear; there are no signs or symptoms of this stage.
- Underneath a microscope syphilis looks like a cork screw and it beings to drill holes in the brain eating away at it. When infection gets to this stage it can make you go crazy and can cause dementia.
If left untreated…
- 10 to 30 years left untreated leads to late stage syphilis.
- Leads to paralysis, blindness, dementia, multiple organ failure, severe brain damage, and death.
- A baby with untreated syphilis can develop cataracts, deafness, or seizures, and it can die at birth.
Treatment & Prevention
- Treated with prescribed antibiotics that can treat the infection but cannot reverse the damage done by a latent stage infection.
- The only 100% way to prevent syphilis is by abstaining from all kinds of sex, this includes oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
- However if you choose to engage in sex use male or female condoms for vaginal and anal sex and dental dams or male condoms for oral sex-for the whole time, every single time.
- If you are sexually active you should reduce your number of sex partners.
- Pregnant women should always receive testing and treatment for syphilis if they test positive.