What The Heck is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexual transmitted infection and one of the many sexual transmitted infections (STIs) you will learn from Gayhealth.sg. We will make it simple for you so that you can be equipped with this “silent ” infections which can cause brain damage, nerves, heart, eyes and even blood vessels. Okay, go grab a refreshing drink, sit down on a comfortable chair and read this, or book mark this page, so in an emergency, you know where to get up-to-date, lay men information.

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is caused by bacterial and is (easily) curable if detected early. However, late infections may leave permanent organ damage. Infection can be asymptomatic for a long time, only to surface later. As a result, many infected persons are unaware and continue to spread the infection to others.

How do I get it?

As with most sexually transmitted infections, one becomes infected through unprotected sexual intercourse. Unlike other STIs like HIV, Syphilis can be contracted through intimate skin to skin contact. You can get infected when any of your body parts including mouth or genitals, come into direct contact with someone who has an affected sore (Chancre), even with condom use.

What can it do to me? 

If you don’t seek treatments, syphilis can show up many years later and will cause severe damages to your organs as mentioned above.

Who should get tested for Syphilis? 

Anyone who is sexually active and if you think you came in contact with a painless sore (chancre) that is usually found in the genitals area and in the mouth. Makes you think twice about play Spin the Bottle huh

If it is a “silent” infection, how would I know? 

Ok relax. You can test for Syphilis by going for a blood test. Usually it will take 21 days to 3 months for the infection to show up after exposure.

Wait! Blood test?

Yes, of course! How else will they test for it? It’s a simple, quick and painless rapid (finger prick) test. Only a couple drops of blood is taken. It canbe done anonymously too.

Can you tell me the signs and symptoms? 

So you have stages of infection when left untreated. Ready?

Primary Stage: 

  • First signs usually occurs between 9 to 90 days following following infection.
  • It shows up as a painless sore (chancre) on the penis, in the mouth or anal canal.

Secondary Stage: 

  • After the chancre disappears, there is a period with no symptoms lasting three to six weeks.
  • Non-itchy rash, especially on palm and soles.
  • Wart-like growths on the genitals and anus.
  • Fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscles aches, and fatigue.

Wah! Why so many stages huh? 

It’s actually just one stage. Only when left untreated, it will progress. Now train yourself to include Syphilis testing with your HIV test so you can fix it before it becomes stage 2.

There is a cure for this, right? 

Yes there is. If detected within one year of infection, syphilis is easily treated with penicillin injections.  If you are allergic to penicillin you will get a different injection of  doxycycline or erythromycin. If syphilis is detected later than one year, you will require longer courses of treatment. It is currently felt that persons living with HIV may need a longer course of treatment to successfully cure a syphilis infection.

We have Syphilis testing at our Anonymous Testing Service (ATS) at 31 Kelantan Lane. See operating hour HERE.

You can contact us for more information.


9 Kelantan Lane #03-01
Singapore 208628
c/o DSC Clinic:
31 Kelantan Lane #02-16
Singapore 200031


Tel : (65) 6254 0212
Fax :(65) 6256 5903
Email : info@afa.org.sg

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