Protecting yourself from syphilis
Posted by pozlife on July 6, 2007
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that gets transmitted from one person to another through sex. Its symptoms can come and go, and its consequences can be serious if left untreated.
Syphilis is on the rise in the U.S. It has increased 81 percent from 2000 to 2004; 84 percent of cases are among gay men and other guys who have sex with guys. Not all of these men live out gay lifestyles; many also have wives or girlfriends who are vulnerable to syphilis too.
Untreated syphilis can lead to organ damage, including brain damage, and in rare cases, death. Syphilis infection makes HIV easier to catch OR to give to sex partners. Data shows that syphilis can dramatically increase the viral load of HIV-positive people. This increase can be reversed if an infected person is treated properly.
These pages will help you understand the stages of syphilis infection, how syphilis is transmitted, the ways you can help keep yourself and your partners safe, and what to expect from syphilis testing and treatment.
1 Primary and Secondary Syphilis — United States, 2003-2004. MMWR. March 17, 2006. 55(10);269-273.