Syphilis is a common bacterial infection that’s spread through sex. Syphilis is easily cured with antibiotic medicine, but it can cause permanent damage if you don’t get treated, Syphilis is a common bacterial infection that’s spread through sex. Syphilis is easily cured with antibiotic medicine, but it can cause permanent damage if you don’t get treated.
When syphilis is in the hidden, or latent, stage, the disease remains active but often with no symptoms. Tertiary syphilis is the most destructive to health.
The primary stage of syphilis occurs about three to four weeks after a person contracts the bacteria. It begins with a small, round sore called a chancre. A chancre is painless, but it’s highly infectious. This sore may appear wherever the bacteria entered the body, such as on or inside the mouth, genitals, or rectum.
On average, the sore shows up around three weeks after infection, but it can take between 10 and 90 days to appear. The sore remains for anywhere between two to six weeks.
Syphilis is transmitted by direct contact with a sore. This usually occurs during sexual activity, including oral sex.
Skin rashes and a sore throat may develop during the second stage of syphilis. The rash won’t itch and is usually found on the palms and soles, but it may occur anywhere on the body. Some people don’t notice the rash before it goes away.
Other symptoms of secondary syphilis may include:
These symptoms will go away whether or not treatment is received. However, without treatment, a person still has syphilis.
The third stage of syphilis is the latent, or hidden, stage. The primary and secondary symptoms disappear, and there won’t be any noticeable symptoms at this stage. However, the bacteria remain in the body. This stage could last for years before progressing to tertiary syphilis.
The last stage of infection is tertiary syphilis. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 15 to 30 percent of people who don’t receive treatment for syphilis will enter this stage. Tertiary syphilis can occur years or decades after the initial infection. Tertiary syphilis can be life-threatening. Some other potential outcomes of tertiary syphilis include:
People with syphilis have a significantly increased chance of contracting HIV. The sores the disease cause make it easier for HIV to enter the body.
It’s also important to note that those with HIV may experience different syphilis symptoms than those who don’t have HIV. If you have HIV, talk to your doctor about how to recognize syphilis symptoms.
Syphilis is a really common STD. Syphilis is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
Syphilis causes sores on your genitals (called chancres). The sores are usually painless, but they can easily spread the infection to other people. You get syphilis from contact with the sores. A lot of people with syphilis don’t notice the sores and feel totally fine, so they might not know they have it.
Syphilis can be easily cured with medication if you treat it early. But without treatment, it leads to really serious, permanent problems like brain damage, paralysis, and blindness. That’s why STD testing is so important — the sooner you know you have syphilis, the faster you can get rid of it.
In 2018, a total of 35,063 cases of syphilis were reported in the United States, yielding a rate of 10.8 cases per 100,000 population This rate represents a 14.9% increase compared with 2017 (9.4 cases per 100,000 population), and a 71.4% increase compared with 2014 (6.3 cases per 100,000 population).
Syphilis is spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. You get it when your vulva, vagina, penis, anus, or mouth touches someone’s syphilis sores — usually during sex. Syphilis can be spread even if no one cums.
The main ways people get syphilis are from having vaginal sex and anal sex. It’s less common to get it from having oral sex, but it can happen. A mother can also pass syphilis to a baby during pregnancy and childbirth, which can be dangerous.
Syphilis is very easy to give to other people in the beginning, when there are sores. But lots of people don’t even know they have syphilis because they don’t notice the sores. Using condoms every time you have sex is one of the best ways to help prevent syphilis — even if you and your partner seem totally healthy.
Syphilis isn’t spread through casual contact, so you CAN’T get it from sharing food or drinks, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, sharing towels, or sitting on toilet seats.
As of 2018, there is no vaccine effective for prevention.Several vaccines based on treponemal proteins reduce lesion development in an animal model but research continues.
Condom use reduces the likelihood of transmission during sex, but does not completely eliminate the risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Correct and consistent use of latex condoms can reduce the risk of syphilis only when the infected area or site of potential exposure is protected.However, a syphilis sore outside of the area covered by a latex condom can still allow transmission, so caution should be exercised even when using a condom.
Abstinence from intimate physical contact with an infected person is effective at reducing the transmission of syphilis. The CDC states, “The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, is to abstain from sexual contact or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
The CDC recommends that sexually active men who have sex with men be tested at least yearly.The USPSTF also recommends screening among those at high risk.