Many people do not get symptoms of syphilis immediately, but it can cause serious long-term effects if it is not treated.  People who do get symptoms may get a painless ulcer, which can become a rash spread across the whole body.

Why you need to see a doctor if you have been at risk of Syphilis

If syphilis is not treated it can badly damage your organs, especially the heart and brain and can lead to death.  It is important to be tested and treated so that syphilis does not cause long-term damage to your organs and so you do not pass syphilis on to others.


Syphilis can be spread through skin to skin contact with an infected area, without penetrative sex.   It is therefore important to use a condom or dam and lube during other sexual activities, as well as during vaginal, anal and oral sex, to reduce the risk of getting syphilis.


If you have had sex without a condom, you may be at risk of syphilis or other STIs.  You should go to a doctor to be tested.  The doctor may send you for a blood test or use a cotton swab to sample an area which is affected.


Syphilis can be cured with penicillin.  It is important to get tested and treated as soon as possible, as treatment cannot cure any permanent damage that has been caused by the syphilis.

For more information

Talk to your doctor or local health clinic.