Syphilis Basics

What is syphilis?
Syphilis is an infection passed easily through sexual contact. It is much easier than HIV to get or pass on. Syphilis goes through three different stages after infection, with different symptoms at each stage.

How is syphilis spread?
It's spread when your skin comes into direct contact with syphilis sores or rashes. It can be spread through oral, anal or vaginal sex.

Can syphilis be cured?
Yes. If caught early, Syphilis can be easily treated. Treatment is available at the Specialty Clinic (502) 574-6699.

How can I find out if I have syphilis?
If you have a sore on your genitals, have an STD check. Anytime you have a test for STDs, ask for a Syphilis blood test also.

The most common means of detecting Syphilis is through a blood test.

If you are HIV-positive, it may be more difficult to detect syphilis in your blood. In this case, your doctor should also ask for a "confirmatory" test.

What can I do if I have syphilis?
You and your sex partner(s) must be examined and treated. If partners are not treated, they can give the infection back to you, or infect others. You will no longer be contagious once treatment is completed but it is possible to contract syphilis again. Having syphilis does not give you immunity from getting syphilis again.