Syphilis_CartoonCharacter
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Syphilis

Syphilis is an STD caused by a bacterium called Treponema palliduium. It’s known as the ‘great imitator’ because its symptoms are hard to distinguish from other STDs.

Syphilis is easy to treat. The unfortunate thing is that most infected people don’t know they’ve got it.

In the long-term, if you’ve got untreated syphilis, you can go blind, lose your mind, and even die.

How do you get syphilis?

You get syphilis by coming into contact with a syphilis sore or rash.

Usually, this is through having unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Sometimes you can get syphilis by coming into contact with a syphilis rash on an infected person’s body. However, this is unlikely.

Mothers infected with syphilis can also pass it on to their babies.

What are the signs that you’ve got syphilis?

The first signs of syphilis show up within three months of infection. In general, both women and men develop one or more painless ulcers on their genitals. These ulcers are also called chancres.

Chancres heal within three to six weeks without treatment. But you’re still infected with syphilis. Without treatment, it will progress to a secondary stage.

In women, chancres can appear on:

  •     the vulva
  •     the cervix
  •     the anus
  •     the mouth

In men, chancres can appear on:

  •     the penis
  •     the anus
  •     the mouth

Secondary stages of syphilis

Three to six months after the first signs of syphilis, the disease shows up again.

Secondary signs of syphilis include:

  •     Flu-like illness including tiredness and loss of appetite
  •     A non-itchy rash covering the whole body or appearing in patches
  •     Rough, red, or reddish brown spots on both the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
  •     Flat, warty-looking growths in the genital areas
  •     Flat, warty-looking growths around the anus
  •     Patchy hair loss

As with the first stage of syphilis, these symptoms go away without treatment. However, the infection is still there. Without treatment, the infection silently progresses to its late stages.

Late stages of syphilis
You can have a syphilis infection with no symptoms for 20 to 30 years after first being infected. However, during this time, syphilis is silently damaging your nervous system.

Late signs of syphilis infection include:

  •     Difficulty with muscle movements
  •     Paralysis
  •     Numbness
  •     Blindness
  •     Dementia
  •     Death

How can you protect yourself from getting syphilis?

1. Always use condoms.
Condoms lower your risk of getting syphilis. However, they don’t eliminate the risk entirely. Syphilis sores or rashes don’t always occur in places where condoms cover or protect, which is why you can get syphilis even if you’re wearing a condom.

2. Get tested with your partner for syphilis.
Whenever you’ve got a new partner, before having sex, go get tested. You or your partner could be infected with syphilis and not know it.

3. If you’ve got unusual discharge, sores, or pain when you urinate get tested for syphilis and other STDs.

These symptoms are signs that something is wrong. Also, let your partner know, so he or she can get tested and treated too. Otherwise, you may pass syphilis back and forth between you and your partner.

Syphilis and pregnancy

If you’re pregnant and infected with syphilis, you can pass it on to your unborn baby. If untreated, your baby may be stillborn or die soon after birth.

To prevent this from happening, in most countries pregnant women are tested for syphilis. If you have a blood test early on in pregnancy, the syphilis test will just be routinely included.

How do you get tested for syphilis?

Syphilis testing in women and men is the same. The doctor will take a blood sample and test it for syphilis. He or she will also check to see if you’ve got sores or rashes that match a syphilis diagnosis.

How do you get rid of syphilis?

Syphilis is easy to cure, especially in the early stages.

You’ll be given an antibiotic injection and/or a course of antibiotic tablets to take. The medication will kill the bacteria, but won’t repair any damage caused by long-term infections. After finishing your treatment, you may be asked to come back again and get tested to see whether the syphilis infection is gone.

Being infected with syphilis once doesn’t make you immune from it for the rest of your life. You can get the disease again, so it’s important to protect yourself from re-infection.

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Recent Comments (140)

  1. i have benefit’s alot.
    i have benefit’s alot.

    1. Hi there, do you mean from
      Hi there, do you mean from this article?

        1. Hi Peterson, we are so glad…

          Hi Peterson, we are so glad to hear this. Please feel free to look through our website to find other articles that you may find interesting.

      1. Thank you for the feedback…
        Thank you for the feedback Twaha.

      1. Hello Fanklin, you are most…

        Hello Fanklin, you are most welcome and we are always here for you and always pleased to help 🙂 

  2. wat are the effects of a girl
    wat are the effects of a girl wen she takes p2 two days continuesly

    1. What’s a p2?
      Hi Moha,
      as the name (emergency contraception pill) suggests, they should be taken in case of emergency only, as the high content of hormones can seriously mess up a woman’s cycle.
      There won’t be any side effects like infertility, but it certainly isn’t healthy for the body.

  3. I evawel koech and the whole
    I evawel koech and the whole group LOVE MATTERS is a bleesing to us.thanks a lot.

  4. U guys ar doing great job nd
    U guys ar doing great job nd hv learned alot ever since i joind u

    1. We are so happy to hear that,
      We are so happy to hear that, Lilian!

  5. Mrng,it take time 2 built a
    Mrng,it take time 2 built a house there4 those whom engage they self in raping that s an act of forcing,so u can,t force somebody 2 hv sex, is just as u cannot build a house in one day…..maybe if u r the almight lord…..amen.

  6. Love matters contribute alotz
    Love matters contribute alotz of ideas 2 guyz..tnkz

    1. You are very welcome!
      You are very welcome!

  7. i find it a nicer feeling to
    i find it a nicer feeling to be single than while dating someone, it is awierd feeling or its normal to everyone out there starting with you LOVE MATTETS!?

  8. i find it a nicer feeling to
    i find it a nicer feeling to be single than while dating someone, it is awierd feeling or its normal to everyone out there starting with you LOVE MATTETS!?

    1. Hi Izo,

      Hi Izo,
      no, that’s totally fine! If you are most happy alone right now, then stay single. One day, you will find someone who is worth giving up the feeling you like right now, and there is no point of pushing it before!

  9. xo cn u b wid ur gf/bf almost
    xo cn u b wid ur gf/bf almost 4 2 yrs without hvin xex s dat??

    1. Hi Oboya,

      Hi Oboya,
      it all depends on the situation- why are you not having sex?

  10. Hi!,My g/f has been refusing
    Hi!,My g/f has been refusing me touch her boobs n te clitoris part off let n whenever i do she starts 2 laugh.Am confused pliz help is there any problem with her or am te course?

    1. Hi Joel,

      Hi Joel,
      you shouldn’t ask us, you should be asking her! Only she can tell you what’s going on, and why she doesn’t like it, or laughs. So go ahead, ask her!

    2. Can syphilis course…
      Can syphilis course infertility?

  11. Thanx 4 ur lessons ihv learnt
    Thanx 4 ur lessons ihv learnt alot

  12. Hey is it health for a fore
    Hey is it health for a fore play without sex?

    1. Hi there,

      Hi there,
      there is nothing wrong with just having foreplay.

  13. please why do certine men
    please why do certine men refuse to have sex with their partner if they are ask to?

    1. Ansh,

      Ansh,
      always refuse or just once or twice?

    1. We hope you are referring to
      We hope you are referring to the article, and not harassment.

  14. WHAT IF SHE IS YOUR GF, IS IT
    WHAT IF SHE IS YOUR GF, IS IT WRONG TO TOUCH HER WHEN YOU MEET.

    1. Abraham,

      Abraham,
      it is wrong to touch her when she hasn’t agreed to be touched. All contact should be with consent.

  15. wow dats a gud job u r
    wow dats a gud job u r doing i lik it

    1. We are so glad to hear that,
      We are so glad to hear that, Ann.

  16. When the person have sex that
    When the person have sex that is not protected ed then he take the dose after two days, and when he take the dose he fell eny reaction

    1. Sak,
      sorry, a dose of what?

      Sak,
      sorry, a dose of what?

  17. my girlfriend has been taking
    my girlfriend has been taking pills after we have sex and it has affected her coz she has experiencing abdominal pain. what could she do ??

    1. Washy,

      Washy,
      are you talking about emergency contraception? Due to the strong hormone content, there can be quite a lot of side-effects, which is why they should only be taken in case of emergency.
      The two of you are better of choosing another method.

  18. U guy am very proud to hear
    U guy am very proud to hear ua advises may Gd bless u,the hav been helping me tu xana thaxs alot.

  19. My girlfriend has problems
    My girlfriend has problems with her libido please help

    1. What kind of problem with her
      What kind of problem with her libido does she have, Mican?

  20. You have greatly contributed
    You have greatly contributed alot to the love zone. Keep it on toes

    1. We will, thanks, Dennis!
      We will, thanks, Dennis!

  21. wat is good bat are oll girl
    wat is good bat are oll girl show a good reship

    1. Sorry, Jamaldin, is that a
      Sorry, Jamaldin, is that a question or a statement? We are not sure we understand.

  22. hay i hv a girlfriend she is
    hay i hv a girlfriend she is stil a student i lve her so much the problem she used to tel me that she is inlve with me we hv stay more than 2 years bt i people used to say she is unsteble tht thg hv broke my hrt bt i stil lve her we used to hv un protected sex the main prblm i realised she run upto mens in silence thn i realizer tht and am on the proces to leave wht may be the prblm to her?

    1. Dennis,

      Dennis,
      the best thing you can do is ask her what’s going on. She will be able to tell you; we don’t know what’s going on in her head.

  23. i hve agirl friend she always
    i hve agirl friend she always dating me to have sex with her but am afraid coz i ever done it before, i mean am still vargine, what can I do?

    1. Ryan,

      Ryan,
      be honest and talk to her about it!

  24. in some rellattion is hard 2
    in some rellattion is hard 2 ttakl them.

    1. Why do you think that is,
      Why do you think that is, Sarah?

  25. i have been in a relationshp
    i have been in a relationshp with two sistaz, i first love a big siz then tha youngr one follow but shes the one who show me true love but the fact is that i love tha first one how can i do?

    1. Deno,

      Deno,
      ouch! Cheating on two sisters, that’s pretty tough.
      Decide on what you think is best for you and your future, and stick to that decision.

  26. in a morth hw many deiz a
    in a morth hw many deiz a woman can get a pregnancy

    1. JJ,

      JJ,
      that differs from woman to woman, and can differ from month to month, but around 10 days in every cycle. This may be more than the fertile period, but you have to factor in that sperm can survive inside the female body for a few days, as well.

  27. thank for your lesson, but
    thank for your lesson, but luv iz da thing dat automatically can not have trainer.

    1. Thanks for sharing your
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  28. it s abig challege to me to
    it s abig challege to me to no
    w who i am

    1. Shirley,

      Shirley,
      why was it a challenge for you? And how are you overcoming it?

  29. I found a gal whom i think
    I found a gal whom i think she lavs sex alot…even if i tend 2 ignore her request 4 a date,she cant miss 2 come and i’ve never called her for bed time,shes tha one who asks for it.this is 3month dating.is she a bitch or she lavs sex?

    1. Moffat,

      Moffat,
      why does it always have to be the man who wants and asks for sex?
      You are with a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it. Lucky you!

  30. How can i make strong my
    How can i make strong my penis its so soft and its not pointing on upwards?

    1. In our opinion or in other
      In our opinion or in other people’s opinions, Eric?

  31. yah I feel so privildge to yu
    yah I feel so privildge to yu

    1. Is that a good thing?
      Is that a good thing?

    1. Thanks for sharing your
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hazazi.

  32. My boyfrind always insists on
    My boyfrind always insists on having sex every weekend bt am against and that made us to brek,what can i do 2 hav hm back coz i realy lov hm?

    1. Nyaah,

      Nyaah,
      it seems like your communication didn’t go too well- would you agree? Try to have a chat with him, about what happened, and how he feels about starting things up again. Good luck!

  33. hei i hv aproblem plz help
    hei i hv aproblem plz help wen i hv sex with ma fiance i alweiz kam farst wthn 3os wat can i do .

    1. You are welcome, Bobby!
      You are welcome, Bobby!

  34. wow m learning a lot..you are
    wow m learning a lot..you are doing a great job Love Matters

    1. Thank you so much, Nicky!
      Thank you so much, Nicky!

  35. i thank u,this a good job,u
    i thank u,this a good job,u helped mi solve part of ma personal problem

    1. We are so glad to hear that!
      We are so glad to hear that!

  36. Thenx vry much 4 ur lessons
    Thenx vry much 4 ur lessons

  37. hi. av a prmblem wen i av sex
    hi. av a prmblem wen i av sex i jst du it once nd my dick gets off wat could b de prmblem help me plz??

  38. congrats for the good
    congrats for the good education that u offer to the youth..i really like ur page

  39. I am in a relationship with a
    I am in a relationship with a guy.during sex i dont feel anything. Is not that he dont srx me well.but i dont feel anything.is something wrong with my sex life

  40. This ix an helpful message…
    This ix an helpful message…. I know it will save many

    1. We appreciate the feedback…
      We appreciate the feedback Thaddeus.

      1. Thank you for your positive…

        Thank you for your positive feedback Seth and we are always here to help! Happy Easter!

    2. The article is really…
      The article is really educative

      1. Hi Tony, seems like you didn…

        Hi Tony, seems like you didn’t complete your statement.

  41. ive puss come out of ma…
    ive puss come out of ma penis,wat could it be doc?

  42. Hi, this could be an…
    Hi, this could be an infection. Visit a medical centre as soon as possible for a check up and treatment.

  43. when u forced to play sex do…
    when u forced to play sex do u feel anyting

    1. Hi Natasha, first it is a…

      Hi Natasha, first it is a violation for anyone to force you to have sex. The decision to have sex or not to, is entirely your decision and no one should force you even if this is your partner. It is not possible to enjoy something that you didn’t want in the first place. To enjoy sex, it has to first be voluntary, you have to consent or agree to have it. Sex is not just physical, it is also emotional and psychological. All of these determine whether one will enjoy or not. It maybe important for you talk to some close to you, some you trust about what happened to you so they can support. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/sexual-harassment/rape-top-five-facts 

  44. I here pain in my pennies…
    I here pain in my pennies but its not much am I likely having std coz I had unprotected sex

    1. Hi Kim, if you had…

      Hi Kim, if you had unprotected sex, you are now experiencing the pain while passing urine and there is also discharge from your penis, it is possible this is an STI. Visit a medical centre for a check up and treatment. 

    2. Hi Kim, if you had…

      Hi Kim, if you had unprotected sex, you are now experiencing the pain while passing urine and there is also discharge from your penis, it is possible this is an STI. Visit a medical centre for a check up and treatment. 

  45. Hey friends i have a…
    Hey friends i have a question,i have an infection av tried to treat several tyms but am stil not fyn wat should i do,my urine is in yellow,feeling pain in my balls.Help me

    1. Hi Joseph, first the yellow…

      Hi Joseph, first the yellow urine may just be an indicator that you are not taking enough water. Aside from the pain in your balls, are you having a discharge through your penis, are you experiencing pain as you pass urine? It is important you get checked, including having tests done to determine what could be going. Visit a medical center for a check up.

  46. i would like to know is…
    i would like to know is there a difference between syphilis and herpes?

    1. Hey Simon, Genital herpes is…

      Hey Simon, Genital herpes is an STD caused by two different types of herpes simplex virus (HSV). It looks like a cold sore or blister. When one is infected with genital herpes, they may get blisters around their penis, vagina, or anus. Once the blister pops, they’ll have a sore in this area. Blisters can come back every few weeks or months. Syphilis on the other hand Syphilis is an STD caused by a bacterium and it comes with symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from other Sexually Transmitted Diseases. It is also easy to treat only that most people dont even know that they have got it. Herpes on the other hand, cannot be treated, once someone has it, they will have it for life. Have a look at the following article for more information on Herpes;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/safe-sex/stds-stis/genital-herpes

  47. hello I Want To Know does a…
    hello I Want To Know does a papsmeer detect siphillis and herpes?

    1. Hey Raylee, a Pap smear,…

      Hey Raylee, a Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. It tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. There are tests that are used to test for Syphilis, Herpes or any other Sexually Transmitted Infection.

  48. Hi
    Please tell me names of…

    Hi
    Please tell me names of opportunistic infections.

    1. Hi Jacoolive, HIV destroys…

      Hi Jacoolive, HIV destroys the immune system of the infected person. This leaves the person defenseless which means they can get ant infection from a common cold to Tuberculosis (TB). Check out the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/safe-sex/stds-stis/hiv

  49. What should I take to treat…
    What should I take to treat Syphilis?

    1. Hello there, please seek…

      Hello there, please seek medical attention from the nearest health facility for a clear plan of treatment. Please note Syphlis is treatable. 

  50. These days I have a lot of…
    These days I have a lot of vaginal discharge and my V smells funny. Does this mean I have an STI? I am sexually active with 2 different guys.

    1. Hi there, vaginal odour, or…

      Hi there, vaginal odour, or smell, is normal. Every vagina has its own, individual scent, and one shouldn’t try to change or disguise it.However, changes in odour can be a sign for something that’s not right. It is very important to keep an eye on changes in discharge. A drastic change in odour, color, texture and even quantity can be a sign of something abnormal. Have a look at the following article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/vaginal-discharge-and-odour-top-facts

  51. I have syphilis, I was…
    I have syphilis, I was infected by my partner, but I never knew it was syphilis until four month later, and I have been sleeping with her regularly. After four month I went to a pharmacy which I took some injections everyday for one week, those rashes disappeared, but for weeks it came back again.pls doc I need help, what should I do?

    1. Dear Jakes, did you get a…

      Dear Jakes, did you get a test done to be sure it was syphilis? You need to visit a medical centre for a check up and treatment. IT is also important you cease all sexual activity or use protection each time to prevent the risk of reinfection. Also, get your partner to checked and treated as well. 

  52. Great job,how can one be…
    Great job,how can one be treated in secondary stage and late stage?

    1. Hi James, it maybe useful to…

      Hi James, it maybe useful to speak with your healthcare provider to see what options for treatment you have. All the best. 

  53. thanks for help me to no…
    thanks for help me to no about the deseas

    1. Hello Ben, you are most…

      Hello Ben, you are most welcome and we are always here to assist and guide you. Stay safe and Happy Easter!

  54. Hv been hving yeast…
    Hv been hving yeast infection as show on my test, smtyms, thick/watery, but dose nt smell, but do itches smtymx, hv taking drugs as perscribe frm my doc, but stil nt stoping

    1. Hello Thelma , thank you for…

      Hello Thelma , thank you for reaching out to us. Since this is a medical issue that has not subsided even after prescription, we strongly advise you return to your gynaecologist for a comprehensive diagnosis. 
      Here is a list of health institutions that should be of help
      https://lovemattersafrica.com/get-help/clinics  

  55. thank you for the information
    thank you for the information

    1. Hello Lennox, you are most…

      Hello Lennox, you are most welcome and we are always here to help! Have a wonderful week ahead and stay safe!

  56. Thank’s i’ve learned alot.
    Thank’s i’ve learned alot.

    1. You’re welcome Mwakichwa…

      You’re welcome Mwakichwa. Keep it here for more educative content!

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