What is it?
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is usually passed on through having sex with someone who is infected.
What are the symptoms?
There are three stages of the disease:
Stage 1 – Infectious sores on the genitals or sometimes around the mouth that last two to six weeks before disappearing.
Stage 2 – Skin rash and sore throat. These symptoms may disappear within a few weeks, after which you will have a phase with no symptoms, which can last for years.
Stage 3 – If left untreated for a long time syphilis can lead to heart, joint and nervous system damage. It can also cause miscarriages, premature births and stillbirths.
How do I get tested?
You can visit any one of our centres across Walsall. Syphilis is diagnosed by a simple blood test.
Is there any treatment?
Once diagnosed, Stage 1 and 2 syphilis can be treated with free antibiotics.
How can I prevent it?
You can protect yourself from syphilis by using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
If you would like to know more about syphilis, visit the NHS Choices website.