Diseases cannot be cured by antibiotics
Syphilis is an easily transmitted disease caused by bacteria. Detected early, syphilis can now be cured well with antibiotics. However, if it is not treated in good time, it can cause serious health problems. Syphilis is also called syphilis or "hard chancre".
The most important thing about syphilis (syphilis)
- Syphilis is one Easily transmitted venereal disease through bacteriathat affects the entire body.
- you runs in several stages and there are very different symptoms. At times the syphilis is not even noticeable. That is why the disease remains often unrecognized.
- If left untreated, syphilis can have serious, sometimes life-threatening, consequences.
- With antibiotics the disease is well treatable.
- Condoms / Femidoms for vaginal and anal intercourse reduce the risk of transmission, but do not protect completely.
More information about sexually transmitted diseases
Course of infection with syphilis
Syphilis brings about very different complaints and courses. Because of this, it is often overlooked or mistaken for other diseases.
At the beginning, a small ulcer often develops at the point where the pathogen has entered the body, for example on the penis, in the vagina, in the anal area or on the mouth. In addition, there is swelling of the lymph nodes. These symptoms usually subside on their own.
After about two months, symptoms such as fever, headache and joint pain can occur. Often rashes and plaque form on the tongue. These symptoms also subside on their own. Usually the syphilis is no longer noticeable afterwards.
If, instead, the third phase of the disease occurs years later, ulcers appear all over the body. The organs and the nervous system can also be damaged - up to numbness, blindness and mental decline. Thanks to good treatment options, this hardly ever happens today.
How do you get syphilis?
Syphilis is easily transmitted. The pathogens are found everywhere where the skin or mucous membranes change due to the disease and secrete fluid, as well as in the blood.
The bacteria can penetrate into another person's body through the smallest injuries in the skin or mucous membrane (for example in the mouth, in the anal area, on the penis or in the vagina). Most of the time, this happens during unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse. But syphilis can also be transmitted during oral sex. Transmission of shared syringes is particularly easy when using drugs.
Pregnant women can pass the bacteria on to their unborn child.
Even people who do not feel any symptoms can infect others.
Protection against syphilis
The risk of syphilis cannot be completely ruled out during sex, but condoms can reduce it. Contact with weeping areas of the partner's skin should be avoided. If sex toys are used, you should put a new condom on each partner and clean them thoroughly afterwards.
Particularly important: People with frequently changing sexual partners should have themselves tested for syphilis once a year in order to be able to treat the disease in good time and not to pass it on.
A blood test is done if syphilis is suspected.
Syphilis infections are reported by the practice or laboratory in which they are detected to the Robert Koch Institute, which monitors the spread of infectious diseases in Germany. However, the name of the patient is not mentioned.
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Treatment of syphilis
Syphilis is treated with antibiotics, usually penicillin. The drugs are injected into a muscle or - in severe cases - given by infusion into a vein. If the disease is treated in the first two stages, the therapy lasts two to three weeks. Treatment is still possible in later phases of the disease, but then the therapy usually takes longer.
People with syphilis should not have sex until therapy has ended. As far as possible, they should inform their sex partners that they may have become infected. They should also be checked for syphilis.
Syphilis and HIV
The disease often progresses faster in people with HIV. They are also more likely to get the disease again, even though they have been given medication for it. Also, people with HIV sometimes get negative blood tests for syphilis despite an infection.
After syphilis therapy, a blood test must be carried out regularly in HIV-positive people to ensure that the syphilis has been successfully treated over the long term and does not flare up again.
Find out more about other venereal diseases here.
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