Better Health Channel
  • Syphilis is a sexually transmissible infection (STI). Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of infection.
  • Syphilis is curable but, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications.
  • A simple blood test can detect syphilis.
  • It is important to let your sexual partner or partners know that you have syphilis so that they can be tested and treated. Your local doctor or sexual health centre can help you to do this.
  • Always have safe sex – use a condom, and water-based lubricant for all types of sex. Syphilis may also be spread through unprotected oral sex. 
  • Women can pass syphilis infection to their babies during pregnancy. Syphilis can cause miscarriage, serious birth defects in babies and stillbirth (where a baby is born dead). 

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Reviewed on: 31-08-2022