What is syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It is usually contracted through sexual contact with a person who carries the infection. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby while pregnant or during childbirth.
The symptoms of syphilis are divided into four, depending on which stage the patients is in. There are four stages of syphilis and they are the primary stage, secondary stage, latent stage, and tertiary stage. The most common symptom during the first stage is a painless skin ulceration called a chancre. After that, in the second stage, the patient will develop rashes on some parts of his or her body. In the latent stage, it is common for the symptoms to disappear. In the tertiary stage, that is when the patient will experience cardiac and neurological symptoms.
How to test for syphilis?
It is quite difficult to test for syphilis and be diagnosed with it because this particular infection is known to imitate the symptoms of other diseases. The most common method of syphilis testing is via a blood test. The patient will provide a blood sample that will be examined and checked for any trace of the bacteria.
A swab sample may also be used for the syphilis test. It is actually said to be more accurate when giving results.
Some of the most widely used syphilis tests are the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory slide test or VDRL slide test, the Rapid Plasma Reagin test or RPR test, and the Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption test or FTA-ABS test. All of these methods are reliable when it comes to the accuracy and preciseness of their results.
Alternatively, potential syphilis patients can try a home syphilis test if they prefer to get out of all the embarrassment and humiliation of going to an STD clinic. Sometimes, people can be really judgmental when it comes to these kinds of situations, and patients find it hard to deal with them.
Syphilis home test kits can be bought from drug stores, medical facilities, and online stores. They offer privacy and convenience to people. They are relatively affordable and can provide accurate results. However, it is still better to go visit a medical facility that is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratory tools and instruments that can examine blood, urine, saliva, and swab samples more efficiently.
How to treat syphilis?
There is no vaccine that can treat syphilis as of the moment. The best way to treat it is to abstain. Avoid having sex with a syphilis positive person or with multiple partners to minimize the chances of contracting the disease.