The U.S is going through decade of increased syphilis infection rates.
What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a serious bacterial infection passed through contact with an infected individual. Treponema pallidum is the bacteria that cause syphilis. Often spread through sexual contact it can also be spread from surface to person, i.e. from a toilet seat recently used by an infected individual. A syphilis infection is a serious health risk and can cause harm to unborn children and can be a life threating illness in adults if left untreated,
What are the signs/symptoms of Syphilis? Do I have Syphilis?
Syphilis develops in 3 stages. The 1st is indicated with sores, often around the genital area. These sores will heal by themselves. The 2 stage is a larger rash, often on the chest and the next stage is a latent phase where the syphilis bacteria remain active but without visible symptoms. during all phases the infected person may suffer headaches, fever, fatigue and feel. The later stage can cause serious damage to eyes, heart and brain.
How is syphilis detected? Is there an easy test for syphilis detection?
Syphilis is detected through the detection of antibodies of Treponema Pallidum (TP) in whole blood/serum/plasma. It can be detected using Rapid STD/STI testing which requires no lab work. This test works much like a pregnancy test that using a fluid sample inserted into the test cartridge will show a single line for negative and a double line for positive. Results are shown within a few minutes.
Who should test for syphilis and when?
Regardless of whether you have the typical syphilis symptoms you should test for syphilis if you have had unprotected sex. You should also test if you have had close contact with anyone (such as living with them) who has recently shown symptoms or testing positive for syphilis.
You can read more about syphilis here.