Syphilis is a dangerous STD that’s rising in frequency, especially among men who sleep with other men (MSM). According to the CDC,
“Between 2015 and 2016, the number of reported primary and secondary (P&S) cases in the United States increased by 18%… most (58%) of these cases were among MSM.”
When left undiagnosed, syphilis can lead to serious health concerns. Symptoms can take as long as 10-30 years to manifest.
The four syphilis stages
Syphilis consists of 4 stages:
- Primary syphilis – sores at the place of infection (usually the mouth, genitals, anus or rectum) – may or may not be noticable
- Secondary syphilis – rash, fever, lymph nodes swollen, mucus in the lesions
- Tertiary syphilis – serious health problems that may involve brain (nerve dysfunction, stroke, altered mental state), heart, genitals, eyes, ears and other organs
- Latent syphilis – shows no signs or symptoms
Who should get tested for Syphilis?
A blood sample is needed for syphilis screening.
Here’s what the CDC recommends for syphilis screening:
- All pregnant women starting early in pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed
- At least once a year for all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
- MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STDs (for example in 3-to-6 month intervals).
Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.
Test Smartly Labs can help if you need to test for syphilis or any other STD.