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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted …

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted
bacterial infection that causes genital ulcers (sores) in its early stages. If
untreated, these ulcers can then lead to more serious symptoms of

An ancient disease, syphilis is still of
major importance today. In 2008, 13,500 cases of syphilis were reported in the
united States, mostly in people 20 to 29 years of age. Of these reported cases,
63 percent were among men who have sex with men. Syphilis rates have increased
in males each year between 2000 and 2008 and in females each year between 2004
and 2008.

HIV infection and syphilis are linked.
Syphilis increases the risk of transmitting as well as getting infected with

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  • 1. Fitango Education Health Topics Syphilis
  • 2. OverviewSyphilis is a sexually transmittedbacterial infection that causes genital ulcers (sores)in its early stages. Ifuntreated, these ulcers can then lead to moreserious symptoms ofinfection. 1
  • 3. OverviewAn ancient disease, syphilis is still ofmajor importance today. In 2008, 13,500 cases ofsyphilis were reported in theunited States, mostly in people 20 to 29 years ofage. Of these reported cases,63 percent were among men who have sex withmen. Syphilis rates have increased 2
  • 4. Overviewin males each year between 2000 and 2008 and infemales each year between 2004and 2008.HIV infection and syphilis are linked.Syphilis increases the risk of transmitting as well asgetting infected with 3
  • 5. OverviewHIV. 4
  • 6. CausesSyphilis is caused by a bacterium called Treponemapallidum. 5
  • 7. TransmissionThe most common way to get syphilis is by havingsexual contact with an infected person. If you areinfected, you can pass the bacteria from infectedskin or mucous membranes (linings), usually yourgenital area, lips, mouth, or anus, to the mucousmembranes or skin of your sexual partner. 6
  • 8. TransmissionThe bacteria are fragile, so you cannot get syphilisfrom sharing food or utensils, or from using tubs,pools, or toilets.Syphilis can be passed from mother to infantduring pregnancy, causing a disease calledcongenital syphilis. 7
  • 9. SymptomsSyphilis is sometimes called "thegreat imitator." This is because it has so manypossible symptoms, and itssymptoms are like those of many other diseases.Having HIV infection at the 8
  • 10. Symptomssame time as syphilis can change the symptoms ofsyphilis and how the diseasedevelops.Syphilis (other than congenital syphilis) occurs infour stages that sometimesoverlap. 9
  • 11. Symptoms **Primary Syphilis**The first symptom of primary syphilis isoften a small, round, firm ulcer (sore) called achancre ("shanker")at the place where the bacteria entered your body.This place is usually the 10
  • 12. Symptoms **Primary Syphilis**penis, vulva, or vagina, but chancres also candevelop on the cervix, tongue,lips, or other parts of the body. Usually there isonly one chancre, butsometimes there may be many. Nearby lymphglands are often swollen. (Lymph 11
  • 13. Symptoms **Primary Syphilis**glands, or nodes, are small bean-shaped organs ofyour immune system containingcells that help fight off germs. They are foundthroughout your body.) Thechancre usually appears about 3 weeks afteryoure infected with the bacteria, 12
  • 14. Symptoms **Primary Syphilis**but it can occur any time from 9 to 90 days afteryou have been infected.Because a chancre is usually painless andcan appear inside your body, you might not noticeit. The chancre disappears inabout 3 to 6 weeks whether or not you aretreated. Therefore, you can have 13
  • 15. Symptoms **Primary Syphilis**primary syphilis without symptoms or with onlybrief symptoms that you mayoverlook.If primary syphilis is not treated, however, theinfection moves to thesecondary stage. 14
  • 16. Symptoms **Secondary syphilis**Most people with secondary syphilis havea skin rash that doesnt itch. The rash is usually onthe palms of yourhands and soles of your feet. However, it maycover your whole body or appear 15
  • 17. Symptoms **Secondary syphilis**only in a few areas. The rash appears 2 to 10 weeksafter the chancre,generally when the chancre is healing or alreadyhealed. Other common symptomsinclude:-- Sore throat-- Tiredness 16
  • 18. Symptoms **Secondary syphilis**-- Headache-- Swollen lymph glandsOther symptoms that happen lessoften include fever, aches, weight loss, hair loss,aching joints, orlesions (sores) in the mouth or genital area. 17
  • 19. Symptoms **Secondary syphilis**Your symptoms may be mild. The lesions ofsecondary syphilis contain many bacteria, andanyone who has contactwith them can get syphilis. As with primarysyphilis, secondary syphiliswill seem to disappear even without treatment,but secondary syphilis can 18
  • 20. Symptoms **Secondary syphilis**return. Without treatment, however, the infectionwill move to the nextstages. 19
  • 21. Symptoms **Latent syphilis**The latent (hidden) stage of syphilisbegins when symptoms of secondary syphilis areover.In early latent syphilis, you might notice 20
  • 22. Symptoms **Latent syphilis**that signs and symptoms disappear, but theinfection remains in your body. Whenyou are in this stage, you can still infect a sexualpartner.In late part of latent syphilis, theinfection is quiet and the risk of infecting a sexualpartner is low or not 21
  • 23. Symptoms **Latent syphilis**present.If you dont get treated for latent syphilis, you maymove on totertiary syphilis, the most serious stage of thedisease. 22
  • 24. Symptoms **Tertiary syphilis**Even without treatment, only a small numberof infected people develop the dreadedcomplications known as tertiary, orlate, syphilis. In this stage, the bacteria will damageyour heart, eyes, 23
  • 25. Symptoms **Tertiary syphilis**brain, nervous system, bones, joints, or almost anyother part of your body.This damage can happen years or even decadesafter the primary stage.Late syphilis can result in mental illness,blindness, deafness, memory loss or otherneurologic problems, heart disease, 24
  • 26. Symptoms **Tertiary syphilis**and death.Late neurosyphilis (brain or spinal cord damage) isone of the most severesigns of this stage. 25
  • 27. DiagnosisIt can be very difficult for yourhealthcare provider to diagnose syphilis based onsymptoms. This is becausesymptoms and signs of the disease might beabsent, go away without treatment, 26
  • 28. Diagnosisor be confused with those of other diseases.Because syphilis can be hard todiagnose, you should-- Visit your healthcare provider if you havea lesion (sore) in your genital area or a widespreadrash 27
  • 29. Diagnosis-- Get tested periodically for syphilis ifyour sexual behaviors put you at risk for sexuallytransmitted diseases (STDs)-- Get tested to be sure you dont also havesyphilis if you have been treated for another STDsuch as gonorrhea or HIV 28
  • 30. Diagnosisinfection**Laboratory Tests**Your healthcare provider can diagnose earlysyphilis by seeing a chancre or rash and thenconfirming the diagnosis with 29
  • 31. Diagnosislaboratory tests. Because latent syphilis has nosymptoms, it is diagnosed onlyby laboratory tests.There are two methods for diagnosingsyphilis through a laboratory. 30
  • 32. Diagnosis-- Identifying the bacteria under a microscopein a sample of tissue (a group of cells) taken from achancre-- Performing a blood test for syphilisIf your healthcare provider thinks you 31
  • 33. Diagnosismight have neurosyphilis, your spinal fluid will betested as well. 32
  • 34. TreatmentSyphilis is easy to cure in its earlystages. Penicillin, an antibiotic, injected into themuscle, is the best treatmentfor syphilis. If you are allergic to penicillin, yourhealthcare provider may 33
  • 35. Treatmentgive you another antibiotic to take by mouth.If you have neurosyphilis, you may needto get daily doses of penicillin intravenously (in thevein) and youmay need to be treated in the hospital. 34
  • 36. TreatmentIf you have late syphilis, damage done toyour body organs cannot be reversed.While you are being treated, you shouldabstain from sex until any sores are completelyhealed. You should also notify 35
  • 37. Treatmentyour sex partners so they can be tested for syphilisand treated if necessary.For updated information on treatment forsyphilis, read the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention Sexually Transmitted DiseasesTreatment Guidelines. 36
  • 38. PreventionTo prevent getting syphilis, you must avoid contactwith infected tissue (a group of cells) and bodyfluids of an infected person. However, syphilis isusually transmitted by people who have no soresthat can be seen or rashes and who do not knowthey are infected. 37
  • 39. PreventionIf you arent infected with syphilis and are sexuallyactive, having mutually monogamous sex with anuninfected partner is the best way to preventsyphilis.Using condoms properly and consistentlyduring sex reduces your risk of getting syphilis.Washing or douching after sex wont preventsyphilis. 38
  • 40. PreventionEven if you have been treated for syphilis andcured, you can be re-infected by having sex with aninfected partner.The risk of a mother transmittingsyphilis to her unborn baby during pregnancydeclines with time but persists during latentsyphilis. To prevent passing congenital syphilis totheir unborn babies, all pregnant women shouldbe tested for syphilis. 39