The Basics on Syphilis
sexual health, pregnancy, medical complication, infection, treatmentIn this day of premarital sex and kids growing up sexually liberated, it is important that we understand some of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). One of these disease is syphilis. It takes first prize for the top ten most commonly acquired STDs. But what do we really know about syphilis?Syphillis Syphilis is caused by the treponema pallidum sprichete. Even if it is considered a sexually transmitted disease, it isn’t always acquired through sexual contact. There are rare cases where the infectious organism is passed on through open wounds or lesions as point of entry. Syphilis may also be passed on from mother to fetus during pregnancy and childbirth. It is a sad fact, though, that 25 percent of fetuses born of syphilitic mothers end up in stillbirths, while the remaining 75 percent develop congenital syphilis which may aggravate into another medical complication if left untreated. Also, people with syphilitic sores who remain sexually active are at higher risk of acquiring HIV or AIDS. There are four different stages of syphilis infection, these arel Primary syphilis. It is usually acquired through direct sexual contact with the infectious lesions of a syphilis sufferer. Around 10-90 days after initial exposure, skin lesions may start forming on the genitalia. This lesion, or the chancre, is a firm, painless skin ulceration localized at the point of initial exposure to the spirochete. This often appears on the penis, vagina or rectum. The lesion may persist for 4 to 6 weeks and usually heals spontaneously. Local lymph node swelling may be noticed. During the initial onset, sufferers are otherwise asymptomatic. As a result, many patients do not seek medical care immediately.l Secondary syphilis. This stage manifests itself approximately 1-6 months after the primary infection. Symptoms of secondary sage of the disease includes a symmetrical reddish-pink non-itchy rash on the trunk and extremities. The rash can involve the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. In moist areas of the body, the rash becomes flat broad whitish lesions known as condylomata lata. Mucous patches may also appear on the genitals or in the mouth. These lesions are infectious and harbor active treponeme organisms. A patient with syphilis is most contagious when he or she has secondary syphilis.l Latent syphilis. This stage is defined as having serologic proof of infection without signs or symptoms of disease. Latent syphilis is further described as either early or late. Early latent syphilis is defined as having syphilis for two years or less from the time of initial infection without signs or symptoms of disease. Late latent syphilis is infection for greater than two years but without clinical evidence of disease.l Tertiary syphilis. This usually occurs 1-10 years after the initial infection, though in some cases it can take up to 50 years. This stage is characterized by the formation of gummas which are soft, tumor-like balls of inflammation known as granulomas. The granulomas are chronic and represent an inability of the immune system to completely clear the organism.Treatment It is important that you seek immediate medical assistance once you see unusual lesions or nodule formations on your genital area, or even anywhere on your body. Syphilis is best treated on its early onset. The organisms that cause this disease react to a certain form of penicillin. Abstinence from any sexual activity until you’ve settled with just one partner is the best way to prevent yourself from acquiring this disease. However, for the people who are unable to avoid engaging in sexual activities, protecting yourself from possible infection is the best way. Wearing condom during sexual intercourse prevent actual genital skin contact as well as getting in contact with seminal fluids from an infected partner.Being liberal doesn’t have to equate to being careless. Living in a permissive society wherein casual sex, however frowned upon it may seem to people of the older generation, is almost a normal thing. However, it doesn’t mean we mean we should abuse that privilege and in turn abuse our bodies.
The Basics on Syphilis
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