Just like how common cough and colds is to children, syphilis is also as common in the context of sexually transmitted infections. These sexually transmitted infections are becoming a concern because of the shooting incidences and cases as time passes.
However, one must not be too cautious about outbreaks of sexually transmitted infections because contrary to common myths, sexually transmitted infections can be acquired through, obviously, sexual intercourse or contact, or contact with another body’s mucus membranes which includes the vaginal, oral and anal areas.
Staging the Disease
Syphilis has four main stages, each stage having its own distinct characteristic signs and symptoms. Primary stage, which occurs about ten to ninety days upon transmission, is commenced by the appearance of ulcers in the vaginal, penile, anal or oral membranes which are usually painless.
The secondary stage is signaled by the appearance of rashes which may spread all over the body or contained in only one area of the body. This phase lasts for about four to six weeks and maybe barely noticeable because it is non-itchy and faint in appearance.
The latent stage is the part when the person becomes free from any signs and symptoms, but still is a carrier of the disease. This may happen for several months up to several years. The end-stage of syphilis is the tertiary stage wherein the disease has already become systemic in nature and has already given rise to several other bodily disturbances and complications.
Knowing these stages is important in seeking treatment and medical management because each of these stages have different approaches for treatment and recovery and it is a must that one knows what course of the disease he currently is experiencing.
Treatments for syphilis vary from person to person and from the stages which syphilis patients are suffering from. Penicillin injections may be given, or any alternative if an allergy is present. Also, a routine blood test is ordered for the purpose of monitoring if the patient is responding to the treatment process, otherwise the doctor would adjust the dosage of the drug. Usually, a person would be considered in a non-infective state 24 hours after the initial penicillin injection was given. It is also important to consider that syphilis does not provide a lifetime immunity to those who have contracted the disease.
Basically, the best and most effective treatment is during the primary stage wherein serological testing/ blood tests for syphilis should be done and employed, especially to those who are at risk (persons with multiple sex partners, and the like). In the prevention at the primary phase, there is a good chance that the bacteria would lie low and die- thus preventing the progression of the disease.
In cases, however, when the disease has already turned to the secondary, latent or tertiary phase, it is a must for a person to have a strict treatment regimen which includes intramuscular penicillin doses which are long-lasting. Combination drugs may also be used to prevent resistance of the bacteria to the drug.
For cases wherein complications have already developed, other treatment regimens may be employed like additional antibiotics (i.e. doxycycline, etc). These drugs will aid in relieving complications and in preventing further damages to the body.
Prevention and Promotion of Health
Once treated, it should already be imbibed in one’s mind that acquiring syphilis does not give a person a lifetime immunity to the disease as it may happen time and again. The best thing one can do it to practice safe sex, have a single partner and continuously subject oneself to tests in order to check for remittance of the disease.