Protecting Yourself From Syphilis
Syphilis is a disease which was considered in the early years of its discovery as a wild epidemic, affecting the population is great proportions- probably because of the undeveloped practice of medicine and difficulty in diagnosing the said disease. Today, it is not as epidemic as it was before as it can be easily diagnosed and effectively treated with antibiotics, oral or intravenous.
Treatments for syphilis are widely available and affordable, too. However, the early signs and symptoms are not as pronounced which can make it negligible, thus resulting in advancing to later stages which are harder to be treated. People should be able to realize that syphilis can increase one’s susceptibility to acquire HIV and subsequently AIDS.
Syphilis is caused by a spirochete called the Treponema pallidum. It is distinct because microscopically, it has a cork-screw appearance. In the initial phase of the infection, an ulcer may develop in the area where the primary infection took place. As the bacteria spread through the bloodstream, it affects healthy organs of the body and consequently affects the various functions of our vital organs.
Medical professionals categorize syphilis into four various stages which happens in all cases of the disease, especially if left undiagnosed and untreated. They are the primary, secondary, latent and tertiary stage. An infected individual, especially in the first two stages of the disease is highly contagious and if left undiagnosed and untreated can greatly infect other persons through sexual contact.
In syphilis, the disease-causing bacteria infects an individual through sexual contact which involves the mucus membranes such as the vaginal mucosa, genital, oral and anal; and can even penetrate through breaks in the skin integrity. Syphilis is doubly dangerous for women who are pregnant because the disease may be passed through the placenta, thus affecting the fetus. As a consequence, the baby of a mother with an active syphilis infection can have congenital deformities and mental problems.
In order to avoid the spread of this disease, it is highly recommended to make use of protective equipments during sexual intercourse. It is important that people who are at high risk for having contracted syphilis be screened at an early stage so that secondary prevention and treatment could be made as soon as possible. Pregnant women should also be screened for it so that treatments can be done in order to preserve the fetus’ well being.
Syphilis is usually treated with penicillin through IV and the patient is unable to transmit the disease 24 hours after the initial dose was begun. There are patients, however, who do not respond to the normal dose of penicillin that is why blood tests should be done routinely in order to the check to the responsiveness of the patient to the drug.
Syphilis is a highly treatable disease and treatment is effective especially when diagnosed at an early stage. If you think you are a candidate for having this disease, it is best to submit yourself to the management of a specialist and have yourself tested.