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Open all pages about Syphilis

Symptoms of syphilis can include small sores or warty growths on your genitals or bottom (anus), a rash on your hands or feet, and flu-like symptoms.

Your penis, vagina, bottom (anus) and other areas of your body will be checked for signs of syphilis. Samples of blood and fluid may also be taken.

Antibiotics are used to treat syphilis. Do not have sex until tests have shown treatment has worked, which may not be for 12 weeks.

If not treated, syphilis can cause serious problems many years after the start of the infection, such as problems with the heart, brain and nerves.

You can get syphilis from having unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral sex without a condom) with someone who has the infection.

To reduce the risk of catching or spreading syphilis, use a condom when having sex and do not share sex toys or needles (if you inject drugs).

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can be treated if it's found early. If it's not treated, it can cause serious health problems.

Page last reviewed: 24/05/2022
Next review due: 24/05/2025