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Syphilis Prevention
Written By : Dr. James Pendergraft 
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Syphilis, which was once a cause of devastating epidemics, can now be diagnosed effectively and treated with antibiotics. Although treatments are available, the early symptoms of syphilis can be very mild, and many people do not recognize the danger and do not look for the treatment when they become infected. It is important to know that this disease can increase the risk of HIV spread, transmitting and acquiring.

Syphilis is recognized as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) which is caused by a bacterium named Treponema pallidum. The early infection makes an ulcer in site of infection; however, the bacteria move all through the body, damaging many of the healthy organs gradually. Medical researchers illustrate the course of this disease by categorizing it to four stages which are "primary", "secondary", "latent", and the "tertiary" (late). If an infected individual is not medically treated it may infect other uninfected people whilst the disease is in its first two stages they will usually last one to two years.


Although untreated syphilis in its "late" stages, it is not contagious, but it can cause serious "heart abnormalities", blindness, mental disorders, other neurologic troubles and even death.

The bacteria spread from the initial infected site of an afflicted person to the skin, the mucous membranes in the genital area, the anal regions of a sexual partner or the mouth. It can even pass through torn skin on any other areas of the body. This bacteria are very delicate, and the infection is mostly spread by sexual contact. In addition a pregnant woman infected by syphilis can transmit the bacteria to her fetus, as a result of this infection the child can be born with severe physical and mental problems. But the very common mode to get infected is to have sexual intercourse with an infected person.

During the active stages the open sores of syphilis could be infectious and visible. In order to prevent spread of the infection any small contact with these infectious parts and other affected tissues and also body fluids must be avoided. Among the several other STDs, one of the methods of prevention is using condoms while having sexual intercourse. Screening and treatment of infected people and secondary prevention are one of the few options for preventing the infection at the advanced stages of the disease. The best way to prevent syphilis in infants is testing and treatments early in pregnancy which should be a regularly part of the prenatal care.


Drug used to treat syphilis is usually penicillin which is injected. For patients who are allergic to penicillin there are other antibiotics.

24 hours after the therapy has begun, the patient can not transmit syphilis.

However, some people don't respond to the usual dosage of penicillin. Therefore, it is important that such people be treated to have periodic blood tests in order to check complete destruction of the infectious agent.

Proper treatment can cure the disease in any stage, but in the late syphilis, damage is already done to body organs and cannot be reversed.

To Your Health!

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