H.I. Period 3
12 November, 2010
What do you know about your assigned STD and
about STDs in general?
I don’t know anything about syphillis, only that it is an STD and
something you do not want. STD stands for Sexually Transmitted
Disease, and some are treatable, others are not. I would never want
anything to do with an STD, and I hope that I never have to
encounter one. Some STDs are fatal, which is sad because they can
easily be prevented. If people had better communication, the disease
would not spread as much, and less people would be affected.
Sometimes they can be hereditary, and you can’t control it. Always
be safe and check with your doctor to see if you have them. You
don’t want to be responsible for some one elses disease, or even
What is Syphilis?
• “Syphilis is a serious but curable infection
caused by bacteria called Treponema pallidum.”
• “The wormlike bacterium that causes syphilis,
for example, likes to burrow into the moist
mucous membranes of human beings’ mouths
or genital areas.” (Winters, 2010)
• Initial exposure to the organism during sexual
intercourse results in formation of a painless skin lesion
called a chancre at the site of infection (primary syphilis),
developing anywhere from a week to months after
infection. (Adler, 2010)
• Symptoms are often described as flu-like, with malaise,
headache, fever, and joint aches. A skin rash often
appears, covering most of the body. Sores may develop
in the mouth and throat and on many of the mucous
membranes in the body. (Adler, 2010)
How it spreads:
• “You can get syphilis by coming into contact
with a person who already has the disease.”
• Although less common, syphilis can also be
spread through needle sharing (which occurs
among drug users) and by an infected person
coming into contact with any type of open sore
or cut on another person. A pregnant woman
with syphilis can also infect the unborn baby she
is carrying. (Winters, 2010)
How do you prevent it?
• Latex condoms are the safest way to prevent an
unwanted pregnancy or STD. Therefore, latex over
polyurethane condoms, or abstinence from sex is the
safest way to prevent a kind of disease like syphilis.
How do you treat it?
• Penicillin is the preferred method of treatment
for both primary and secondary syphilis. If the
disease has progressed to the tertiary stage, then
antibiotic treatment will still eliminate the
organism, but it will not reverse organ damage
that may have occurred. (Adler, 2010)
• Winters, Adam. "Syphilis." Teen Health and Wellness. Rosen, 2010.
Web. 12 Nov. 2010.
• Adler, Richard. "Syphilis." Magills Medical Guide. Ed. Tracy Irons-
Georges, 4th rev. ed. 5 vols. Pasadena, Calif.: Salem Press, 2008.
Salem Health Web. 12 Nov. 2010.