Story Behind the Curve
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause serious health problems without treatment. Infection develops in stages (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). Each stage can have different signs and symptoms.
You can get syphilis by direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Syphilis can spread from a mother with syphilis to her unborn baby.
The only way to completely avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting syphilis:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and does not have syphilis.
- Using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Condoms prevent the spread of syphilis by preventing contact with a sore. Sometimes sores occur in areas not covered by a condom. Contact with these sores can still transmit syphilis.