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What is syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that is cured with antibiotics.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Many people do not have any symptoms, but those who do may have:

  • A painless genital sore (chancre)
  • Rash on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or body
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, and muscle and joint pain
  • Brain or heart problems if left untreated

How is it spread?

Syphilis is spread by sexual contact (unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex) with an infected person. It can be spread by sharing drug equipment such as needles, or from a mother to her unborn child before or during childbirth.

How is it prevented?

Syphilis can be prevented by:

  • Abstaining from sexual activity.
  • Both you and your partner getting tested at the beginning of your relationship.
  • Using condoms every time you have sex.
  • Getting tested for syphilis when you find out you’re pregnant.

Where can I be tested?

When can I have sex again?

You can have sex when you and your partner(s) have finished treatment and a doctor says you can no longer infect others.