What is it?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria known as treponema pallidum.

How many people get it in the US?

According to the CDC, there were about 115,045 newly diagnosed cases of syphilis of all stages in the United States in 2018. Compare it to about 38,739 newly diagnosed HIV infection in the United States in 2017. Most of the cases happen in men who have sex with men accounting for about 77.6% of all the primary and secondary syphilis cases. It is reported that recently, the rates of primary and secondary Syphilis has been increasing in both heterosexuals and men who have sex with men. About 1306 cases of congenital syphilis were reported in the United States in 2018 in comparison, about 73 cases of perinatal HIV was reported in the United States in 2017. The cases of congenital syphilis is higher in the black and hispanic mothers than in white mothers. REDUCING THE RISKS: To reduce the risk of getting syphilis we can do the following 1. Use condoms every time you have sex to prevent the transmission. 2. Practice long term mutually monogamous relationship and ensure that you and your partner are tested for syphilis and are negative. 3. Abstinence. In addition, all pregnant women should be tested for syphilis at the first prenatal visit. The following groups should be tested frequently for syphilis if they are sexually active. * If they have partners who have previously tested positive for syphilis. *If the partner is HIV positive. * if it is a man having sex with men.


Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of Syphilis may not be noticed. Sometimes, the signs and symptoms may be mild. The signs and symptoms of Syphilis usually depends on the stage of the Syphilis. We have 4 Stages of Syphilis. 1. The Primary Stage: (Primary Syphilis). You can find the sore (s) at the initial site of infection. For example in the mouth or the genitals or in the anus. The sore(s) may be painless, round and firm. 2. The Secondary Stage: (Secondary Syphilis). The symptoms here maybe fever, lymph nodes swelling and skin rash. 3. The Latent Stage: (Latent Syphilis): This stage of Syphilis,may have no signs or symptoms. 4. The Tertiary Stage: (Tertiary Syphilis). Manifestation of signs and symptoms of syphilis may be serious to include affecting the brain (neurosyphilis), eyes or the heart and other organs of the body. Memory loss and or dementia may also occur. Neurosyphilis & Ocular Syphilis: At any stage during the infection, neurosyphilis can occur in the nervous system, and the brain or in the eye. The symptoms Of neurosyphilis may include : *Paralysis, *mental disorder to include dementia, *numbness *difficulty coordinating muscle movements. *severe headache Symptoms of Ocular syphilis may include: *visual changes *blindness.

How it's spread

Some people with syphilis may have sores on the lips or in their mouth or the vagina or the penis or in the rectum or anus. Syphilis can be directly spread via contact with the syphilis sore during oral, vaginal or anal sex. You can also have syphilis as an infection from a mother to her unborn baby (Congenital Syphilis).


Syphilis can be cured with the particular targeted antibiotic. If there is already damage to an organ as a result of the infection, that damage will remain. Diagnosis can be from blood tests and sometimes fluid from the syphilis sore. DOES SYPHILIS REINFECT? One can be reinfected after successful cure of Syphilis if they are exposed again to an infected individual with the Syphilis. It is necessary to make sure you and your partner are properly treated before you re-engage in sexual activity. For more information, you can contact your healthcare provider or you can visit or email

Possible consequences if left untreated

1. See symptoms above. 2. An untreated pregnant woman can transfer it to the unborn baby. 3. Sometimes, there may not be any signs or symptoms and if the baby is not treated there may be serious medical issues to include: *Seizure disorder, *deafness, *cataracts and even *death.

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