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Syphilis in Homosexual Men: A CDC Fact Sheet

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Rapid STD Testing, Rapid STI Testing, Sexual Health Screening Syphilis

Syphilis, although once nearly eliminated, has been increasing at a rapid pace in the US. Although it is more likely to infect women, male cases of Syphilis have also been recorded. Syphilis cases in homosexual and bisexual men as well as men who have male bed partners have seen a steep rise in numbers in recent times. Therefore, STD Testing has become a mandate for all young men and women who have a history of ac

In this fact sheet, you will find an answer to nearly every general question regarding Syphilis in Homosexual men.

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) that spreads via sexual contact or contact with the mucosal fluids of an infected person. This bacterial infection starts with painless sores in the genital, anal or oral regions and often goes untreated. Without proper STD Testing and treatment, it can result in serious medical issues and even death. 

Should I be concerned about Syphilis?

A large number of Syphilis cases in the US has been recorded amongst gay, bisexual, and other MSM (Men who have sex with men) in the last two decades. This is reason enough to be very concerned about your sexual health when it comes to Syphilis. If left untreated, Syphilis can result in grave health problems, like neurological issues, blindness and even death. With Syphilis, patients are also more likely to contract and spread HIV. 

Therefore it is a mandate to undergo standard STD/STI Testing. Men/Women STD Testing is easily available with the rising curve of recorded cases.

How could I get Syphilis?

Syphilis can be contracted by any person with an active sexual history. It is usually transmitted via anal, oral sex and vaginal sex. It can also be spread by coming in direct contact with a Syphilis sore. This disease first shows up as a painless sore around the genital, anal or oral region. This is why they often go unnoticed for years and therefore can be left untreated. It can also be transmitted by incorrect usage of a condom. 

One thing to note is that Syphilis cannot be spread via casual contact with infected objects like toilet seats, swimming pools, doorknobs, bathtubs, clothing, or utensils.

What does Syphilis look like?

Syphilis has various stages and each stage is associated with different signs and symptoms. During the latent stage, Syphilis appears as a painless sore or sores at the primary site of infection and usually shows up in the vaginal, rectal or oral regions. These sores are round, usually firm and painless. 

Syphilis symptoms in the second stage appear as a skin rash, fever and swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms in this stage can also be left unnoticed because of their mild nature. Untreated Syphilis can stay dormant in the body till the infection reaches its final stage. In this stage, it can cause severe damage to the heart, brain, and other organs. You will find a detailed description of every stage on the CDC Syphilis fact sheet.

How common is Syphilis among MSM?

According to reports, primary and secondary cases of Syphilis have seen a steady 7% rise in the US between 2019 and 2020. Amongst the  41,655 reported P&S Syphilis cases in 2020 43% of them were among MSM.

How can I reduce my risk of getting Syphilis?

A surefire way to avoid contracting Syphilis or any other STD is to abstain from having anal, vaginal or oral sex. However, sexually active individuals can adhere to the following to prevent contracting Syphilis:-

  • Being in a long-term relationship with only one partner who has tested negative for Syphilis.
  • Using latex condoms during sex in the right way. 

How do I know if I have Syphilis?

The only foolproof way to determine if you have Syphilis is via STD/STI Testing. Men/Women can easily get tested at any widely available testing clinic. Syphilis is a serious disease that can cause serious health issues if left untreated.

If you have been sexually active, and have been engaging in unprotected sex, it is always wise to get yourself tested. STD testing should be conducted with immediate effect if you are experiencing symptoms already. Getting tested should also be a mandate for those who suspect their partners of having Syphilis. 

How will my doctor know if I have Syphilis?

The best way to let your doctor know if you are suspecting Syphilis is by being honest about your sexual history. Your doctor will first conduct a blood test to be sure if you have Syphilis. Sometimes the fluid from a Syphilis sore can also be tested by your healthcare provider. 

If you are a sexually active man with a bed partner who has tested positive for either HIV or Syphilis, you should get yourself tested with immediate effect.

What is the link between Syphilis and HIV?

It has been medically established that individuals who have contracted Syphilis are more prone to contract HIV in the future. In the US, more than half of MSM with P&S Syphilis was known to contract and live with HIV. The HIV pathogen can easily infect you from an open Syphilis sore or break in the skin. 

Can Syphilis be cured?

Contrary to how serious a disease Syphilis can be, the road to wellness is easy. Syphilis can be easily cured with proper antibiotic medicine prescribed by your healthcare provider. However, treatment cannot revert the severe damage that the infection might have already caused during its last stage. Therefore, regular STD testing is very important.

I’ve been treated. Can I get Syphilis again?

Syphilis does not make you immune to this disease. You can immediately contract it with exposure even if you have been recently treated. Upon receiving laboratory tests, your healthcare provider will be able to confirm if you have Syphilis. Make sure you undergo a follow-up testing process even if your treatment was successful. Affordable Rapid Testing offers the most seamless STD testing as well as produces the quickest lab results in Phoenix, Arizona.

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