Syphilis

Of all the many sexual transmitted infections in the world, syphilis is one that actually can be treated, and has a cure.

Unlike HIV, genital herpes or warts, syphilis can come and go. While it can prove to be fatal in the long term if it is not treated, it can generally be overcome with simple and effective treatment.

So, for those of you who have no idea what the infection is, syphilis is caused from the bacterium Treponema pallidum and has often been called “the great imitator” due to the fact so many of the signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases.

The infection can be transferred from person to person via direct contact with a syphilis sore.

These sores are usually found in the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum but can also occur on the lips and in the mouth.

Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and woman can pass the virus onto their newborns during pregnancy.

The symptoms of the infection come in three stages, the primary, the secondary and the latent stages.

Initially the symptoms will begin with a single sore, referred to as the chancre, which is usually firm, round, small and painless. It lasts for about three to six weeks and heals without treatment.

The second stage then starts with a rash on one or more areas of the body, which then leads to fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue in those with the infection.

The symptoms in this stage will also disappear without treatment.

The latent stage, however, can last for years, and is where the disease begins to attack internal parts of your body, such as your brain, nerves, eyes and heart.

The damage may be serious enough to cause death.

But, the good news is, a single intramuscular injection of penicillin, an antibiotic, will cure a person who has had syphilis for less than a year. Additional doses are needed to treat someone who has had syphilis for longer than a year

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