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Syphilis: Everything You Need To Know About Syphilis


Syphilis is a contagious bacterial infection, which is typically caused by sexual activities. The bacteria is Treponema pallidum.

The disease is known to affect as many as 27000 people in U.S.A alone and almost 6 million people across the world.[1]

- Syphilis is more prominent in men than women.
- Syphilis spreads through direct contact sexually, or through skin or mucous membrane.
- Symptoms of syphilis persist till proper treatment is provided. If left untreated for long, syphilis can cause severe and long-term complications.

Syphilis is a common sexually transmitted infection affecting adults, both men and women, between the ages 15 and 40 years. Newborn babies can get infected too by their infected mothers.


Syphilis progresses through four stages with varying symptoms. Symptoms as per the stages are as follows:
Primary syphilis: Chancre (painless sores) on the penis, vagina, mouth, or around the anus, which are highly infectious.
Secondary syphilis: Rashes on skin, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, headache, and ache in joints.
Latent syphilis: No noticeable symptoms.
Tertiary syphilis: Severe symptoms like blindness, heart disease, deafness, memory loss, stroke, neurosyphilis.

The diagnosis of syphilis is done by performing a blood test and physical examination.
For pregnant women, proper screening is done to diagnose for syphilis.
Urgent medical attention is required by visiting a nearby sexual health clinic.


Treatment for syphilis depends on the stage of the condition.
- Avoid sex or sexual contact till the sores and ulcers are healed completely.
- Avoid sharing of sex toys.
- Avoid blood transfusions.
- Usage of condoms while having sex.
Antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor(in case of primary and secondary syphilis).

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