STI Series – 3. Syphilis

Did you know that Alberta declared a syphilis outbreak in 2019?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a specific bacteria (Treponema Pallidum), and is passed between people through unprotected sexual contact. You can spread it to others without knowing it. Pregnant individuals can even pass the infection to their unborn children.

Many people with syphilis have no symptoms while others may have

The best way to find out if you have syphilis is to get tested. Call the PCN @ 780-639-0011 to book an appointment for screening.

If not treated, syphilis can cause blindness, paralysis, deafness, brain disease, heart disease, and mental health problems. These effects can be prevented if you get early STI testing and treatment. In pregnancy, syphilis can cause premature delivery, low birth weight, or stillbirth. Infants born with congenital syphilis can have birth defects and long-term health problems. These issues can be prevented with early treatment in pregnancy. All pregnant individuals should get STI screening through routine prenatal care.

Syphilis is easily treated with antibiotics

All partners need to be tested and treated even if they have no symptoms. You can easily get re-infected if you have unprotected sex with someone before he/she/they have finished their treatment. It is advised to avoid any forms of sexual contact for 7 days after ALL partners have finished treatment. This is the best way to prevent spread and re-infection.

Syphilis requires follow-up lab work after treatment to ensure treatment was successful. Your blood test for syphilis will likely stay positive even if you’ve been properly treated. Your provider will be able to interpret syphilis staging lab results to determine if at any point you require retreating due to new contact/re-infection, and this can only be done if the follow-up labs are completed.

Preventing Sexual Transmitted Infections

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