What Is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that caused by a bacterium. Syphilis can cause long-term complications or death if not adequately treated.

How is syphilis diagnosed?

A blood test is the most common way to determine if someone has syphilis. The body produces syphilis antibodies that can be detected by an accurate, safe, and inexpensive blood test. Some health care providers can diagnose syphilis by examining material from a syphilis sore using a special microscope called a dark field microscope. If syphilis bacteria are present in the sore, they will show up when observed through the microscope.

Who should be tested for syphilis?

Providers should routinely test persons who:

  • Pregnant Women.
  • Men who have sex with men.
  • Have HIV infection.
  • Have partner who have tested positive for syphilis.

How is Syphilis treated?

No medical report say that they can cure syphilis, but syphilis is simple to cure with appropriate antibiotics from a physician. Treatment will kill the syphilis bacterium and prevent further damage. People that been treated for syphilis must abstain from sexual contact with new partners until the syphilis sores are completely healed. People with syphilis must notify their sex partners so that they also can be tested and treated if necessary.

How can syphilis be prevented?

The used of condoms can reduce the risk of syphilis when the sore or site of potential exposure is covered, but it is the best way to abstain from sex while any sore is present in the genital, anal, or oral area. Contact with a sore outside of the area covered by a latex condom can still cause infection. 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.

Transmission of an STD, including syphilis, cannot be prevented by washing the genitals, urinating, or douching after sex. Any unusual discharge, sore, or rash, particularly in the groin area, should be a signal to abstain from having sex and to see a doctor immediately. Avoiding alcohol and drug use may also help prevent transmission of syphilis because these activities may lead to risky sexual behavior. It is important that sex partners talk to each other about their HIV status and history of other STDs so that preventive action can be taken.



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