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S E X U A L L Y   T R A N S M I T T E D   D I S E A S E S:
Syphilis


What is it? Infections are caused either by viruses (like HIV) or bacteria. Syphilis is a bacterial infection.

How do you get it? Syphilis is transmitted from person to person in only one way:

  • Unprotected sexual contact (vaginal, oral, or anal) with someone who has syphilis.

What are the symptoms? Women and men may have the same symptoms from syphilis.

  • EARLY STAGE: a painless sore on the mouth, penis, vagina, anus, or elsewhere on the body. If you don't treat it, the sore will go away in a couple of weeks, but syphilis is still present in the body. (Many people with syphilis do not notice the sores when they have them.)

How can you know for sure? The sores need to be examined by a doctor. A blood sample is taken and sent to a medical lab for testing.

How is it treated? Because syphilis is cause by bacteria it can be treated with antibiotics (bacteria killing drugs). All other sexual partners should be treated at the same time or the infection can spread. Hospitalization may be necessary depending on what stage of the infection the person is in.

What can happen if you don't take care of it? The disease will proceed to the next stages:

  • SECOND STAGE (6 weeks-4 months after contact with an infected person): new sores, rash, fever, hair loss, body aches, sore throat, swollen glands.
  • THIRD STAGE (years later): damage to heart and/or brain.

    A pregnant woman with syphilis can pass it on to the fetus, causing severe health problems or death.

    Syphilis can cause severe infection of the reproductive organs.

UNPROTECTED SEX PUTS YOU AT RISK FOR GETTING SYPHILIS.

 

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