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Are You at Risk for Syphilis?

Return to syphilis articles

There are over 40,000 known cases of syphilis in the United States, are you at risk?

Risk Factors for Syphilis
Like all STDs and STIs, you are at risk of becoming infected with syphilis if you are sexually active. Getting tested not only protects your health, but you partner’s sexual health as well. While abstinence is the best and only way to avoid syphilis, it’s not all that practical for couples and marriages so there are certain protective measures you can take to lower your risks.

Multiple sexual partners
If you have had multiple sexual partners, you run a higher risk of becoming infected. One of the scariest things about syphilis, often referred to as “the great imitator,” is that people who have it are often totally unaware that they are infected since the symptoms often resemble those of other diseases and conditions. The more sexual contact you have with different partners, the more likely you are to come in contact with the bacteria Treponema pallidum which is responsible for infection.

Having sex without a condom
Syphilis is spread through direct contact with genital tissues and bodily fluids. When you do not use protection during sex, you take away your safety barrier and provide this highly contagious bacterium with a clear path to travel.

If you have HIV
Since HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, causes an immunodeficiency condition you are at a higher risk of infection.