Syphilis Treatment and Prevention
Syphilis is one of the more serious STDs that needs early diagnosis and syphilis treatment. Transmitted during sexual activity, syphilis is caused by the spirochete (corkscrew formed) bacterium Treponema pallidum. If syphilis is not diagnosed and appropriately treated, it may cause serious health conditions and even death.
Syphilis is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with syphilis sores. To know more about syphilis symptoms and stages, read this post.
The CDC estimates the yearly new infection rate with syphilis to be more than 55,000 in the US.
Diagnosis of Syphilis
Syphilis is usually diagnosed with blood tests that show positive for antibodies against the syphilis bacterium. Sometimes the syphilis bacterium is observed in samples taken from the sore and examined under the microscope, and that is where the syphilis treatment starts.
What Is the Syphilis Treatment?
Syphilis treatment can be easy with the proper antibiotics and further damages be prevented. Important is the early initiation of syphilis treatment and therapy; damages already present can not be repaired by medication. It is very important to notify the partner of a syphilis infection in order to be tested and and start syphilis treatment ASAP.
How Can Syphilis Be Prevented?
The only save way to prevent syphilis infections is to abstain from sexual contacts if sores are present or syphilis is suspected. Latex condom may reduce the risk, but the contact with any sore outside the covered area will cause syphilis infection.
Syphilis cannot be prevented by washing after sex.
Syphilis infection, even if treated, does not provide immunity from a new infection. Staying in a long-term monogamous relation with a healthy person is one of the safest way to prevent syphilis and most of the STDs.
Is Syphilis Dangerous in Pregnancy?
Syphilis can easily be transmitted from the mother to the baby during delivery. If a new born is infected with syphilis (it may not show any symptoms for quite a while), many negative health effects such as low birth weight, congenital anomalies, or even stillbirth may be the result.
Special note from the CDC: “Because untreated syphilis in a pregnant woman can infect and kill her developing baby, every pregnant woman should receive prenatal care and be tested for syphilis during pregnancy and at delivery.”
Should I Be Tested for Syphilis?
Please ask you doctor to check you for syphilis if you:
- have had sex with an infected person
- are pregnant
- are a man having sex with other men
- are HIV positive (syphilis increases the risk of HIV infection 2 to 5 times)