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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) cause by the bacterium Treponema palladium. When syphilis is transmitted by sexual intercourse, it is named venereal syphilis, but can also be transmitted from a mother to her unborn child, in which case it is called congenital syphilis. Although this disease has become more uncommon since the appearance of penicillin, statistics show that approximately 10 million new infections appear every year. For that reason, it is recommended that you make an STD test whenever you change your partner.

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SyphilisSyphilis starts as a painless sore located on the genitals, rectum or mouth and it spreads from one person to another through the skin or mucous membrane that comes in contact with that sore. What is alarming about this disease is that after the initial infection, the virus can stay dormant in one’s body for decades before becoming active once again. This is why you should always do a test if you have an active sexual life or if you had that initial symptom on your body. In some cases, early syphilis can be easily cured with an injection of penicillin, but without treatment, it can severely attack your heart, brain as well as other organs and can even be life-threatening. Thus, if you suspect anything, it may be best to look for STD testing clinics or STD testing centers to investigate your symptoms, as an early discovery of the disease is easily treated and can even save your life.

The Stages of Syphilis

1. Primary Stage: As mentioned before, the first sign of the disease is a painless sore, called chancre which appears at the place where the bacteria entered your body. The chancre usually develops in three weeks after the exposure, and some people do not even notice it as it is painless and can be hidden inside the vagina or rectum. The sore will heal itself after six weeks.

2. Secondary Stage: After a few weeks since the chancre healed itself you may experience a rash that begins on your trunk and ends up covering your entire body. Some people also experience muscle aches, fever and sore throat. These symptoms normally disappear within few weeks, or they may come and go repeatedly within one year.

3. Latent Stage: If you do not get treatment for this disease, it will move to a latent stage, where you have no symptoms. This stage can last for years and the symptoms may never return or the disease can develop into the third stage.

4. Tertiary Stage: About 30% of the infected people that do not get treatment will develop complications known as the late stage. This stage can develop many years after the untreated infection. During this stage your heart, brain, eyes, nerves, liver and bones will be damaged.

To summarize, syphilis is one of the most dangerous diseases today, but when diagnosed and treated in its early stage, it is easy to cure, usually your will only need antibiotic medication, thus it is in your best interest to do an STD testing and rule it out or get an early treatment.