A person of any age, sex, race, or sexual orientation can get infected with Syphilis.
Having Unprotected Vaginal, Anal, or Oral Sex with someone who has Syphilis is the primary way the disease spreads.
An infected mother can give syphilis to her unborn baby, where it can cause damaging complications or kill the baby.
You can get syphilis by direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Many times, a person who doesn’t know they are infected is responsible for infecting others.
Correct use of a condom will reduce the risk of contacting syphilis, but it won’t eliminate it.
The surest way to avoid transmission of 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.
Syphilis makes it much easier to become infected, and infect others, with the HIV Virus.
There is an estimated 2- to 5-fold increased risk of acquiring HIV, if individuals with a syphilis infection are genitally exposed to HIV.
This is because Syphilis wears your body down trying to fight it, and the Sores that appear at Stages 1 and 2 provide easy access for HIV to pass through the barrier of your skin, plus present perfect breeding grounds for HIV.
HSV infections can cause major complications for infants born to mothers with the virus.
Depending on how long a pregnant woman has been infected, she may have a high risk of having a stillbirth or of giving birth to a baby who dies shortly after birth. Untreated syphilis in pregnant women results in infant death in up to 40 percent of cases.
An infected baby born alive may not have any signs or symptoms of disease. However, if not treated immediately, the baby may develop serious problems within a few weeks. Untreated babies may become developmentally delayed, have seizures, or die. All babies born to mothers who test positive for syphilis during pregnancy should be screened for syphilis and examined thoroughly for evidence of congenital syphilis.
Yes! Treatment is in the form of penicillin given by injection. If it is suspected that the bacteria has been in the body 1 year or less, usually only one shot of penicillin will be administered. If it is suspected that the bacteria has been in the body longer than 1 year, several shots of penicillin may be needed to clear the bacteria. There are other antibiotics that can be used to treat syphilis when a person is allergic to penicillin.
However, treatment will not undo any internal damage that the infection has already done. You can also catch syphilis again, so get tested regularly.
The Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) is a simple blood test used to determine whether someone has syphilis. This test detects antibodies produced by the body shortly after the infection occurs. The earliest the RPR should be taken is 10 days. The antibodies are most commonly detectable by 3 weeks. If the RPR is positive, an FTA confirmation test is ordered to verify the result.