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Do I Need to be Tested for Syphilis?

Return to syphilis articles

Chances are the answer is yes!

If you are sexually active, you run the risk of becoming infected with syphilis and many other sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Getting tested not only protects your health, but you partner’s sexual health as well. It’s suggested that you get tested if you have multiple new partners, engage in high risk or unprotected sexual activity or enter into a monogamous relationship.

Here is a list of factors that make getting tested even more important:

If you have, or have had, a partner in the past who had syphilis
Syphilis is passed through sexual contact with an open syphilis sore called a chancre. This can occur during oral, vaginal or anal intercourse and the bacteria which causes syphilis is highly contagious. If you know that you have come in sexual contact with an infected person you should be tested right away. Infections are much easier to cure in the early stages.

If you are pregnant
Approximately 12 out of every 10,000 pregnant women are infected with syphilis. 60% of infected pregnant women in the primary or secondary stages of the infection will pass it to the fetus. While this may seem like a relatively low amount of cases, it is important to get tested if you are unsure of your STD status because syphilis can be passed to the fetus at any time during the delivery or the pregnancy. Syphilis infection can result in massive challenges to the baby’s health and may even cause death.

If you have been treated for syphilis in the past
Even if you have been cured of the infection in the past, it does not make you immune to re-infection. Speak with a professional about your risk factors and they may advise having another test performed.

If you have symptoms
Though it is very difficult to tell the symptoms of syphilis apart from other diseases or to even notice it at all in the early stages, it is extremely important to be tested for syphilis as well as other STDs if you experience any unusual symptoms. If you notice one or more open sores (usually not painful), rashes on the hands and feet or any other unusual things about your body, you should be tested right away.