Prevention Services

FAQ's on Syphilis

What is Syphilis?

What are the signs and symptoms in adults?

How is syphilis diagnosed?

What is the link between syphilis and HIV?

What is the treatment for syphilis?

Is it possible to get syphilis more than once?

How can syphilis be prevented?

Why should men who have sex with men be concerned about syphilis?

How does syphilis affect a pregnant woman and her baby?


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It has often been called “the great imitator” because so many of the signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases.


Signs and Symptoms

Many people infected with syphilis do not have any symptoms for years, yet remain at risk for late complications if they are not treated. Although transmission occurs from persons with sores who are in the primary or secondary stage, many of these sores are unrecognized. Thus, transmission may occur from persons who are unaware of their infection.

Primary Stage
The primary stage of syphilis is usually marked by the appearance of a single sore (called a chancre), but there may be multiple sores.

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