Syphilis is an infection that is transmitted through sexual contact. It is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium treponeme pallidum. It is also sometimes known as Lues, Cupid’s disease, or great pox. Its name is believed to be coined by an Italian physician, and its existence is traced back to the pre-historic times.
Because syphilis is very easily transmitted, it is important for people to get a syphilis test once they think that they may have acquired the infection. Syphilis tests are able to correctly diagnose the real condition of a person, whether he or she has syphilis.
Stages of Syphilis
If you have been infected with syphilis, it is essential that you know the different stages of syphilis.
The first stage of syphilis is also known as primary syphilis. This happens when a person has sex with another person who is infected with syphilis. The first symptom appears anytime between 10 and 90 days. It is a small sore or lesion on the skin which came into contact with the syphilis bacteria. It can grow in the mouth, genital areas, and anus.
The second stage of syphilis is known as secondary syphilis. It occurs about six months after getting infected with the bacteria. It is characterized by the appearance of more chancres and rashes in more parts of the body. Other symptoms include weight loss, meningismus, fever, headache, and malaise. It is important to get a syphilis test at this stage because the lesions are extremely infectious.
The third stage of syphilis is known as latent syphilis, which is further divided into two: early latent syphilis and late latent syphilis. This stage occurs around two years after the initial exposure. At this point, the patient will not really show any symptoms.
The fourth stage of syphilis is known as the tertiary stage and occurs 10 years after the first exposure. At this point, the patient exhibits tumor-like things called gummas. Gummas can grow on any part of the body. If a person does not get tested for syphilis, the gummas can develop into neurosyphilis. Other symptoms include emotional instability, cardiovascular congestions, personality changes, loss of sensations, and other complications.
The final stage of syphilis is known as neurosyphilis. People with syphilis who did not get syphilis tested are more likely to reach this stage. They are also usually those patients who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.
It is extremely important to undergo a syphilis test early on. Why wait for the infection to spread and cause more complications when you can just go to an STD clinic and get tested for syphilis so that you can immediately start treatment for syphilis?