Syphilis - It's a problem.
In Southwest Idaho syphilis cases among men who have sex with men are up. Way up. And that’s not good. So, protect yourself. Get tested and use condoms. Syphilis – it’s a problem you can live without.
What is it?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) which can be contracted through unprotected - anal, oral or vaginal sex.
What happens if I get it?
It’s highly infectious and symptoms can imitate other diseases, such as flu.
Symptoms vary but often begin with a painless sore at the point of contact. This usually appears 3-90 days after the disease is contracted. The sore can heal without treatment while the infection remains.
This usually occurs 2 weeks to 6 months after initial symptoms and can involve anal, vaginal or mouth lesions, headache, loss of appetite, achiness, and possibly a rash. These symptoms will also heal while the disease remains.
Often spanning many years or decades, the bacterial infection can spread throughout the body causing permanent damage to major organs and tissues including the heart and the brain. The damage can even result in death.
How do I play it safe?
First, get tested. An early diagnosis makes it easy to cure with an antibiotic treatment. When having sex, use condoms.