Syphilis is back!
Syphilis is caused by bacteria which are easily passed from one person to another during unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and by skin to skin contact with someone who has syphilis sores or rashes. Symptoms begin with one or more painless, but highly infectious, genital or oral sores but can be so mild that you may not even notice them.
Using a condom when you have sex will reduce your chances of getting or passing syphilis on.
Without treatment, the disease will progress and you will remain infectious with syphilis even after any symptoms have disappeared.
The only way to find out if you have syphilis is to have a blood test. You will be offered a blood test for syphilis if you attend a GUM / Sexual Health Clinic for a full sexual health screen. GUM Sexual Health services are free and confidential and you do not need an appointment or a referral form your GP to attend. Please click on the map above to find your nearest clinic
Alternatively you can also ask your GP for a syphilis test. Remember it is not uncommon to have more than one infection at a time, so ask your GP about being tested for other sexual infections at the same time.
Left untreated syphilis may start to cause very serious damage to the heart, brain, eyes, other internal organs, bones and the nervous system. This damage can be fatal. Syphilis will not go away without treatment.
If you do have syphilis then it is very important that you tell your current and recent partners so that they can be tested and treated too. You can chose to do this yourself or the health advisor at your local GUM / Sexual Health clinic can do this for you anonymously. This means that they will contact your partners to tell them they may have been exposed to an infection without telling them your name or any other information that could identify you.
For sexual health services in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton contact: 0300 300 2016
Frimley Park: 01276 604105
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