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Syphilis 

To book a confidential appointment: Call: 1-877-752-4358 (toll-free) or Email: sexualhealthclinic@easternhealth.ca

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can be spread through vaginal, anal and/or oral sex.  You can also become infected through sharing of equipment for injection or snorting drugs. Infection can also occur following deep, wet kissing.  During pregnancy, a mother infected with syphilis can spread the infection to the developing fetus.

Cause: 

A bacterium called Treponema palladium.

Symptoms:

Many people have no symptoms at all but can still transmit syphilis and are at risk for complications. Syphilis infection occurs in three stages:

Primary Syphilis - A painless sore (chancre) appears in the genital area or mouth 3 days to three months after the initial contact. The sore may heal without treatment within 2 to 6 weeks. Syphilis in this stage is highly infectious.
 
Secondary Syphilis - Two to eight weeks after the appearance of the initial chancre sore other symptoms may develop, such as a rash on the chest or back and/or on the soles of feet and palms of hands, swollen glands and a general feeling of being unwell.
 
Tertiary Syphilis - Can occur following an untreated infection causing serious health problems to the brain, heart and skin or possibly death.
 
Neurosyphilis: At any stage, the bacteria can travel through the body and reach the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of this stage can include ringing in the ears, headache, decreased hearing and/or decreased vision.
 
 
Did you know?
  • If you have syphilis you are at a greater risk of contracting HIV.
  • If you already have HIV, syphilis can be highly aggressive.
  • Syphilis can be contracted through unprotected oral sex. 
  • You can’t tell if someone has an STI by looking at them; the only way to know is to get tested!
 


Get Tested!

Testing:
A simple blood test can detect syphilis infection

Treatment:
If detected early, syphilis can be treated and cured with a long-acting antibiotic injection. If left untreated, syphilis can cause permanent damage to the brain, heart and other organs. In some cases it can be fatal.

Prevention:
To reduce your risk of getting an STI, including syphilis and HIV, follow these practices:

  • Practise safer sex by properly and consistently using a condom or oral dam for each sexual encounter (oral, anal and vaginal.)
  • Get tested! See your healthcare provider or visit a sexual health clinic.
  • You and your partner should get tested for STIs before becoming sexually active. 
  • Get tested if you have many sexual partners or when you change sexual partners.
  • Limit your sexual partners.
  • If you use drugs, DO NOT share your equipment.

How to get tested?
  • Call the toll free Syphilis Information Line at: 1-877-752-4358, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
  • Contact your family physician.
  • Contact Planned Parenthood Newfoundland and Labrador at: 1-877-666-9847.
  • Call 8-1-1 toll free in Newfoundland and Labrador or for the hearing-impaired, call  TTY 1-888-709-3555.
  • Contact your local health authority as per below:

 

Eastern Health -

Eastern Health Sexual Health Clinic
Location: 760 Topsail Road, Mount Pearl Square, Community Services
Services:
  • This clinic offers testing for: HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Results are available within one week.
  • Clients will have a sexual health history completed, safer sex counselling and testing performed by a public health nurse with specialized training in the area of sexual health.
  • This is a confidential service.

An appointment is required. To make an appointment, please call toll free: 1-877-752-4358, or (709) 752-4882, or email sexualhealthclinic@easternhealth.ca.

Central Health - Call (709) 651-6234 or (709) 292-8881

Western Health - Call (709) 637-5417 or (709) 637-5000 ext. 5436 or 5917

Labrador Grenfell Health - Call (709) 897-7354

 
Links:
Syphilis is on the rise - get test today


Get tested for syphilis today!






































NL HealthLine CALL 811 ir TTY 1-888-709-3555

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Updated Mar 15, 2017