What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a potentially life-threatening bacterium that increases the likelihood of acquiring or transmitting HIV. It is passed from person to person through direct contact with a Syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum.
Congenital syphilis causes irreversible health problems or death in as many as 40% of all live babies born to women with an untreated infection.
What are the symptoms?
Many people who are infected do not have any symptoms for years, yet remain at risk of late complications if they are not treated. There are three stages: Primary, Secondary and Latent. Primary is marked by a sore that, left untreated, progresses to the secondary stage which includes rashes, fever, swollen glands, sore throat, hair loss, headaches, and muscle aches. The latent stage progresses unknown to the carrier, eventually damaging internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints.
Did you know? …
Last year, 47,500 new cases of Syphilis were found in men and over 23,000 in women. Click here to read more.
How do I test for Syphilis?
A blood sample is needed for this test. Results are available the day after your sample is received in our certified laboratory.
How is Syphilis treated?
Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. If you test positive, a consultation with a Better2Know doctor is included. You can also take the results to your own doctor if you would prefer to.
What are the adverse consequences?
An untreated case of Syphilis can be fatal. There is an increased risk of contracting other STIs including HIV as the immune system is weaker. It is important to get tested regularly and to get any infection treated.
For pregnant women, there can be further complications which may include: miscarriages, premature births, stillbirths, or death of newborn babies. There is also risk of deformities, seizures or delays in development, along with many other problems such as rash, fever, swollen liver and spleen, anaemia and jaundice.
If it is undiagnosed in infants, it can cause damage to their bones, teeth, eyes, ears and brain.