Last Updated: April 9, 2018

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Definition - What does Syphilis mean?

Syphillis is a sexually transmitted infection (also known as a sexually transmitted disease or STD) that usually start off with a single sore on the genitals, mouth, or rectum. It is spread through genital or oral contact with the sore.

Syphilis is a bacteria. Once it is contracted, it can lie dormant in the body of long periods of time (years or even decades) prior to the patient displaying symptoms. Early stage syphilis is cureable with penicillin (possibly with as little as one shot). When syphilis is not treated, irreversible damage to the heart and brain can occur and it can be fatal.

Kinkly explains Syphilis

There are four stages of Syphilis:

Primary stage : This is when the sore appears. It usually appears two to ten weeks after initial exposure.

Secondary stage: Six to 12 weeks after the sore heals, a rash may develop. Multiple lesions can also appear. In this stage, the infection is extremely contagious.

Latent stage: The latent stage does not involve symptoms and has two parts: early and late. In the "late latent" phase, the infection is not contagious.

Tertiary or Late stage: The bacteria begins irreversibly damaging the organs and the brain.

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