Syphilis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that’s spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can also be passed through prolonged kissing or close bodily contact, but it cannot be spread by toilet seats, door knobs, swimming pools, hugging, or sharing utensils.

Signs & Symptoms

Syphilis presents in several stages, initially causing sores on the genitals or mouth about 10-90 days after being exposed. Because the sores are painless, people often don’t notice them and might not know they have the infection, but it can easily be spread at this time. The secondary stage can begin within six weeks to six months after exposure and may last one to three months. During this time, people may experience a rash on their palms and soles of their feet, and might also find warts in the groin, white patches in their mouth, and experience other symptoms. During the latent phase, the infection lies dormant and doesn’t cause symptoms. If the infection isn’t treated, it can eventually cause severe problems with the heart, brain, and nerves.

Testing for Syphilis

You can be tested for syphilis through a blood sample, which requires a blood draw. Syphilis can be easily treated with antibiotics at any stage, but some effects may be irreversible at later stages. Using condoms with all sexual contact can help reduce the risk of acquiring syphilis. Here’s what to expect during your visit at Bridgercare.