Is an infection that is caused by bacteria and it can affect anyone. Many people who have syphilis don’t know it since it may lack symptoms. However, it is easy to treat and cure, when untreated it is serious.
How could I get syphilis?
The bacteria that causes syphilis is spread through body fluids.
Syphilis can be spread through
- Having sex with an infected person without protection (oral, anal or vaginal)
- from an infected woman to her baby during birth
What are the symptoms of syphilis?
Syphilis has four stages – primary, secondary, latent and tertiary
- May have a painless sore, or may be lacking
- If not treated it progresses to the next stage
- May have a rash on your hands, feet or other parts of your body
- This rash is not itchy or painful
- You may have fever, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, hair loss
- If not treated, it progresses to next stage
- This stage has no symptoms, although you are still infected. It can stay at this stage for many years.
- This last stage is very serious
- Symptoms include difficulty moving your arms and legs, paralysis, numbness, blindness and heart disease.
What are the tests available for Syphilis ?
- To check for syphilis, the Doctor will test your blood in any recognized health care institution i.e. clinics, hospitals and diagnostic laboratories.
When should you be tested ?
- If you have any symptoms or your partner has symptoms
- If Pregnant.
How can I protect myself ?
- Delaying onset of sexual activity
- Staying faithful to one uninfected partner
- Consistent and correct use of condoms
Talk to your doctor for advice, testing, vaccination and treatment for Syphilis
- National RTI Guidelines, 2009, MOH
- Laboratory diagnosis and interpretation of tests of syphilis. Clinical Microbial Rev; 1995, 8(1)
- WHO position paper, syphilis