What is Syphilis?
Syphilis called “bad blood”, “sif”, “pox”, “lies” or “hair cut” is a very dangerous STD which can infect the entire body and bloodstream. You can have it without knowing it and pass it on to others.
How can I get Syphilis?
Anyone who has sexual contact with a person who has Syphilis cab get the disease. If you come in contact with the blood of an infected person, you can also get the disease.
A hypodermic needle used by a person with Syphilis may transmit the disease of immediately used by another person.
How do I know if I have the disease?
Men may see some early signs of the disease very early but most women do not see any signs or experience any symptoms of the disease at the outset. The disease has three stages.
A painless sore may appear at the spot where the germ first entered the body, usually from nine to ninety day after sexual contact with the infected person. The sore may appear in or around the vagina, on the penis or inside the mouth or anus. The sore may remain for one to five weeks and may disappear on their own if not treated. The disease then enters the second stage. The sore appearing on the genital or mouth of the infected person can provide an entry point for HIV when an infected person is practicing unprotected sex.
From six weeks to six months after infection, flu-like symptoms may be experienced. You may suffer from sore throat, swollen glands in the neck or groin, inflammation of the eyes, loss of appetite, fever and headache. At the same time you may notice rashes or sores appearing in the palm of hands, soles of the feet or genital area. Sometimes hair may fall out in patches and you may experience pains in the joints. Although the symptoms may go away on their own, the disease is still infectious and of untreated may go to stage three.
A year later or more, if untreated Syphilis becomes quiet. They is no signs or symptoms, only a blood test can reveal the disease. Syphilis may cause serious health problems such as heart disease, blindness, deafness, paralysis, brain damage, insanity or death.
It is important to note that Syphilis is a separate disease from another dangerous STD , called Gonorrhoea . Syphilis is not Gonorrhoea that has become worse.
Can infected mothers pass the disease to their babies?
Mothers with untreated Syphilis may have miscarriages. Pregnant women with Syphilis can give it to their unborn child, sometimes causing birth defects or death. This is called Congenital Syphilis which can also lead to blindness and brain damage to the child. The best method of prevention are the same for all sexually transmitted’ diseases. Use a condom every time in every sex act, and see your doctor immediately after you recognize any signs or symptoms. Women who are pregnant should ensure they visit the doctor or antenatal clinic especially in the For trimester and get a blood test some for Syphilis.
- Every STD infection you get increases your chance of getting HIV.
- You must use a condom every time in every sexual act.
- Call the AIDS/STD Helpline