How to detect the first signs of syphilis?


Syphilis is a disease that, if left untreated, can lead to death, up to 40 years after infection.

How to detect the first signs of syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infectious disease (STD) caused by bacteria called treponema pallidum. Its diagnosis is simple, but if left untreated it can lead to serious damage to internal organs such as the heart and nervous system.

This infection can be acquired by both men and women, who have unprotected sex via the vaginal, anal or oral route, with a person infected with treponema pallidum.

Pregnant women can also transmit syphilis to the fetus, and as a result there may be a miscarriage, premature birth or even a serious illness in the new born that is called congenital syphilis.

How to prevent syphilis

Syphilis can be prevented by avoiding having unprotected sex, having only one partner, or using condoms consistently in sex.

How do I know if I have syphilis?

In the vast majority of cases, there is a lesion in the initial phase that does not hurt and does not burn in the genital area, in the anus (anal sex), or in the mouth (oral sex), which can appear between two to three weeks after sexual contact. unprotected.

It is advisable to have a syphilis screening test, as soon as you have unprotected sex, to detect the infection immediately and take treatment.

The different stages of syphilis

  • Primary syphilis – usually a single sore at the entry site of the bacteria, which does not burn and does not hurt.
  • Secondary syphilis – spots may appear on the body, including the palms of the feet and hands.
  • Latent syphilis – Asymptomatic stage.
  • Tertiary syphilis – can appear up to 40 years after infection, and is characterized by skin, bone, cardiovascular and neurological lesions.

Without proper treatment, the infection will never be cured

The bacteria enters the body during vaginal, anal or oral sex, when there is contact with a syphilis lesion. If we don't diagnose and treat syphilis initially, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body.

The signs of spread through our skin can appear up to 40 years after the initial infection, manifesting as a disease of the heart, central nervous system or skin, and can lead to death.

Treatment for syphilis is simple, and affordable. It is performed with penicillin, an antibiotic that is usually available in most health units in Mozambique. The dose used will depend on the stage at which the disease is.


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