Syphilis can be easily treated with medication if caught early. But it can cause serious harm to the heart and brain later in life if it’s not treated.
Are there any symptoms?
An ulcer around the mouth, penis, vagina or anus. It usually doesn’t hurt.
A red rash on the body, especially the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Symptoms go away on their own, but the infection stays in the body until you have treatment.
What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is caused by the bacteria Treponema Pallidum. It’s curable with antibiotics, but it can cause serious health problems if you don’t get treatment.
Regular STI testing and using condoms will help protect you from STIs like Syphilis
How do you catch Syphilis?
It’s easiest to get syphilis from someone with symptoms (an ulcer or a rash). It can be passed through skin-to-skin rubbing during oral, vaginal or anal sex. It can also be passed from a pregnant person to their baby in the womb.
A syphilis test is usually done during pregnancy to prevent passing it on to the unborn baby.
Over time syphilis stops being contagious to other people, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone. Syphilis only goes away with treatment.
How do you prevent Syphilis?
Use condoms or dental dams for vaginal, anal, and oral sex or rimming.
If you’ve got syphilis, don’t have sex with anyone until seven days after you’ve finished treatment.
Regular STI testing – every 6-12 months – is also important and part of a healthy and confident sex life
Testing for Syphilis
Syphilis is tested in the blood. It can also be tested on a swab if you have an ulcer.
Treatment for Syphilis
Syphilis is a curable infection. That means it should go away completely with treatment. After you get the antibiotic injections, you’ll need to test again three months later to make sure it’s gone. It’s also important to let anyone you’ve recently had sex with know that need testing and treatment too. The doctor or nurse can help you with this.