Alert
Close

Join the Drive to End Hunger! Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
10,000 Games Galore Sweepstakes from AARP
You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

8 Common STDs

From HIV to herpes, get the facts

Syphilis

What is it?

Syphilis is a bacterial infection passed from one partner to another during sexual contact. The infection can affect the vagina, penis, urethra, and anus as well as the mouth and lips.

What are the symptoms?

There are three stages of syphilis, each with different symptoms. In the primary stage, you may notice an open sore, called a chancre. Chancres often appear about three weeks after infection, though it can take up to 90 days for a chancre to form. The sores are commonly found on the genitals but may also appear inside the vagina, on the cervix, and on the lips or breasts. Between three and six weeks after the chancres appear, syphilis enters the secondary stage, which includes rashes on your palms and the soles of your feet, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, weight loss, and even hair loss. If left untreated, this stage can last for up to two years. Late-stage syphilis can occur between one and 20 years after the initial infection and may cause damage to the heart, brain, and nervous system; in rare cases, late-stage syphilis is fatal.

The stages of syphilis often overlap and may occur in any order. Syphilis often has no symptoms or such mild symptoms it goes undiagnosed for long periods.

How is it spread?

In order for syphilis to be spread, there must be direct contact with the sores during vaginal and anal sex, oral sex, and, rarely, kissing. It’s especially contagious during the earliest stages when sores are present.

How is it diagnosed?

To test for syphilis, your doctor will do a blood test or, if sores are present, a swab test.

How is it treated?

Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics. Even though the infection is treatable, damage done during late-stage syphilis is irreversible.

Next: Gonorrhea. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get 25% off lens upgrades at glasses.com.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points