And using a condom can help reduce the risk
The first symptom is a painless, round, red sore called a chancre (SHANKer) that can appear anywhere you’ve had sexual contact - mouth, hands, anus, genitals.
It might appear as a rash on your hands or feet or other parts of your body.
Fever, sore throat, muscle aches, head aches, hair loss, feeling tired.
Latent means unseen, so you will have no symptoms. But you still have it and can pass it on to your sexual partners.
Tertiary (final) stage syphilis can kick in after you’ve had it for a while – even years – with or without symptoms:
Having trouble moving your arms and legs, paralysis, numbness, blindness, heart disease, and death.
Pregnant women who have syphilis can pass it on to their fetus which can cause serious illness in the baby.
Syphilis killed Christopher Columbus, Al Capone, and Paul Gauguin among others.
There is an outbreak of syphilis in Halifax right now, especially among men having sex with men. And when it comes to syphilis, blow jobs and hand jobs count as sex.
First. Don’t have sexual contact of any kind with anyone until you get tested and treated.
Get tested. All positive STI tests are reported to Public Health. Your name will be kept absolutely private.
Tell any and all your sexual partners that you’ve tested positive for syphilis so they can get tested too.
You have ANY of the symptoms listed above, under Easy to Get
You have had sexual contact of any kind, including handjobs and blowjobs, giving or getting.
You have any risk factors such as:
A syphilis test requires a simple blood draw. Simply:
If you have syphilis, there's a chance that you may have another Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), so we recommend getting a full STI test.
If you downloaded the lab requisition from this site, one week after your test, call 481-5824 to get your results. You will be asked to leave your name, a phone number where you can be reached and the best time to return your call. A Public Health Nurse will call you back to discuss your results. Messages are checked regularly so you will be called back on the same day (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4pm). Your results are kept in the strictest confidence.
If you used a lab requisition from a doctor / clinic, please contact them for the results.
If you’ve had syphilis for less than a year, one visit and two shots of penicillin will usually cure it, just like that. But remember to get your follow up bloodwork to make sure.
If you’ve had syphilis for more than a year, or if you are also HIV positive, you may need more doses of antibiotics.
If you get treated for syphilis, you must not have sexual contact with any partners until your repeat blood tests show that you have been cured.
(especially if you have multiple and / or casual partners).
For more information on syphilis and other STIs, click on the following links.