Do you know that syphilis is back to being widespread in Italy and the risk of contracting it increases more and more? This disease is caused by a bacterium that reproduces itself in the mucous membranes of the genitals and in the mouth. The infection occurs during unprotected genital, anal or oral sex.

The infection could develop through three steps:

  • Primary, takes place after 3-4 weeks after infection and causes an injury, like a wound that has no symptoms. In women it appeared mostly on the labia and vagina, while in man are often localized on the penis, the foreskin or anus. Sometimes they can also occur in the mouth, on the gums or on the tongue.
  • Secondary stage starts after about 5-6 weeks of cracking on the palms and of the feet, along with bubbles scattered throughout the trunk and upper limbs, which appear similar to measles. After this stage syphilis loses its symptoms, but remains infectious for several months and can only be diagnosed by a blood test.
  • Tertiary stage, is a rare stage of untreated syphilis can appear many years after infection with neurological and cardiac disorders.

Diagnosis of syphilis is performed by the doctor with the direct visual examination of the lesions. The diagnosis can be confirmed by blood tests that identify the presence of syphilis bacterium in the body. In some cases, moreover, a method can be used which goes to seek the bacterium directly in lesions that syphilis causes on the body.

The therapy that is normally used in cases of syphilis is an antibiotic care. It has been studied that the infection is easily transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy. Precisely for this the fact of syphilis testing among examinations of the pregnant woman’s blood was added.

Syphilis can be prevented by using a condom during anal, oral or genital sex. The condom must be used from the beginning to the end of the sexual intercourse.

WHO – Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR)