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Syphilis can be shady!
Click on the links below to learn detailed facts about Syphilis and how to keep yourself healthy.
Syphilis can feel like a lot of different things. Symptoms of syphilis are very specific based on the stage of infection. Primary syphilis: The first sign of a syphilis infection is a skin sore called a chancre (shank-er) which usually shows up 2-12 weeks after being exposed. It's possible to have more than one chancre. You might not see a chancre at all because it might be inside your mouth, butthole or vagina. The sore typically appears on or around the area that was exposed to your partner's sore including the skin around the scrotum, penis, vaginal lips, and butthole or mouth. The sores are not painful and disappear after several days without treatment. Just because the chancre doesn't hurt or goes away does not mean the syphilis infection has been cured! If you don't get treated, syphilis could lead to some very serious health problems!
Secondary syphilis: Secondary signs and symptoms occur 4-12 weeks after infection in the form of a body rash. This rash is identified by its unique location: the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. It isn't itchy and, just like the chancre, can disappear without treatment. You may also notice warts and white mucous patches (like puss filled little sacs), which are very infectious and can occur in mouth, on the side of the tongue or around the butthole. Other symptoms of secondary infection include swollen glands, fever, fatigue, patchy hair loss, weight loss, and headaches. These symptoms sound a lot like other health problems such as the flu; so many people ignore these signs of infection. If you experience anything like this, you should get it checked right away! Latent syphilis: This later stage of infection doesn't have any signs or symptoms. At this point, syphilis can only be found by getting a special blood test. A latent infection can continue for life and some people may never experience any serious health problems. If syphilis is untreated, it can cause long-term health issues like problems with your eye sight and heart.
Syphilis testing can only be done by having a blood test. There is not a swab or urine test available for syphilis. If you come to Health Center 1 or 5, you will always have a syphilis test done. If you go to your doctor, you need to make sure you ask them to test you for syphilis, especially if you have any of the symptoms mentioned before.