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Practising safe sex is the best way to prevent syphilis infection.

Practising safe sex is the best way to prevent syphilis infection.
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Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is caused by a bacterial infection and can cause serious health problems if left untreated. However, it is easy to cure if found early.

Syphilis is rare in Australia. It occurs about seven times more commonly in men compared to women, and the number of people infected with syphilis is increasing in men who have sex with men and people with HIV infection or AIDS.

What if I have syphilis?

If you think you may have syphilis, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis with testing and start treatment if required.

It may also be a good idea to be tested for other sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV.

It is safest not to have sex, even with a condom, until after you have completed the full course of treatment. Syphilis is very infectious, particularly during the early stages.

It is very important to tell previous sex partners who may have been exposed so that they can also be tested and treated if infected. Your doctor will help you decide who you need to tell and how you can tell them.

The Let Them Know website can provide advice and sample emails, SMSs and letters to send either personally or anonymously.

Where do I find more information?

For further information contact your doctor, sexual health clinic or call healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about syphilis, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: June 2017

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Syphilis

Syphilis is a very serious sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can affect your brain and other organs.

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Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmissible infection that can be treated and cured with antibiotics. If it is not treated it can affect the brain, spinal cord and other organs. Condoms can prevent transmission.

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There are more than 20 known sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Some of them will cause symptoms that should be brought to the attention of a doctor immediately. However, some of these STDs can be ‘silent’ — a person could have the disease but might not notice any symptoms of the infection. Therefore, it is important to be tested for STDs if you take part in unprotected oral, genital or anal sex.

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This page provides Culturally and Linguistically Diverse sexual health and blood-borne virus information, advice, and resources for the public

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Sexual assault: health checks you should have - myDr.com.au

Although the risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from a sexual assault is fairly low, the only way to be certain you do not have an STI is to be tested.

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Sexual Health

Prevention of catching, or spreading, an STI is critical, as they can result in serious health problems. Knowing the facts empowers you to make up your own mind about your body. Be aware of the infections and what to do if you have unsafe sex or see any possible symptoms. If you are in any doubt, talk to your doctor or visit your local sexual health clinic as a priority.

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