Syphilis is one of the most dangerous sexual diseases. It occurs mostly among urban population, persons between 15 and 39 years of age. Epidemiologists think that the reason for growth in syphilis appearances is that people are uneducated about the disease, and increasing number of prostitutes that are not using protection while having sex. Increase didn’t happen in homosexual and bisexual community, probably because many use protection.
Syphilis is caused by spiral bacterium called Treponema pallidum. The bacterium enters the organism through small cuts or abrasions on the skin, often during intercourse. Disease can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy or while giving birth. A doctor will diagnose or just establish the presence of the disease by analyzing blood. Blood tests are the most common way. If detected early, syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. But, if the disease gets in the advanced stage, heart and nerve system will be too damaged to heal. There are four stages of syphilis: primary, secondary, latent and tertiary. During primary syphilis symptoms start about 20 days after the infection. First signs are small round painless wounds. First symptoms sometimes go untreated, after which a person develops a secondary syphilis. Symptoms can begin 15 days to 10 weeks after the fist little wound show up. Common symptom is a rash. Without treatment, this stage can lead to the next, the latent one. Latent stage can start 2 years to over 25 years after the infection. The risk of infecting a partner is low. The most serious stage of the disease is tertiary syphilis. Treponema pallidum can infect and damage all parts of the body and usually affects: eyes, brain, heart, liver, nervous system. 10 percent of the infected people develop a cardiovascular syphilis. 8 percent develop a neurosyphilis that can cause paralysis, blindness, insanity.
For treatment, conventional medicine uses penicillin because it’s the most efficient. If a person is allergic to penicillin, a doctor will prescribe tetracycline or erythromycin.
Syphilis is very tough, potentially deadly disease, and a person needs to go to the doctor as soon as notices the symptoms. There are a few alternative treatments as well: acupressure, Chinese medicine plants, homeopathy etc.