If you thought syphilis was long gone, you’d be “sorely” mistaken. The world has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of syphilis cases. In 2007, Germany reported more than 4,300 cases, but that number nearly doubled in 2017 – to 7,476.
the ease people have in traveling from one city to another – from
one country to another – and the opportunity they have to sleep
with an individual. This increases the chances of being infected
the 1980s, there was the safe sex mantra that was in response to the
HIV pandemic, but it’s not practiced today like it was then.
Today’s young people didn’t experience the fear that the first
HIV cases caused, so many of them don’t have the important
information on how to keep themselves safe during sexual activity.
Can You Know If You Have Syphilis?
everybody with syphilis will present with symptoms or the same
symptoms. For some cases, an ulcer appears at the site of the
infection, ranging from pimple size to even bigger. Men will often
see ulcers on their penis while women can see them on their labia or
in the vagina. An ulcer can also appear on the tongue, lips and anus.
some cases, the syphilis bacteria is on the finger.
It’s An Issue
many cases, people tend to mistake the symptoms of syphilis or
something else or believe that whatever they have will go away on its
own. The ulcer, without treatment, does clear up after three weeks.
a skin rash will develop sometime later because the pathogens have
spread to the entire body because of the bloodstream. Skin sores, of
various types, are likely to develop. One person may have knobby
sores, others scaly and others reddish. The rashes can occur on the
palms of the hands and on the soles of the feet. They can easily be
distinguished from an allergic rash, as they don’t itch.
is the disease’s second stage.
the tertiary stage, the liver, stomach, respiratory system, bones,
muscles and internal organs are also affected. If still left
untreated, it could cause the development of a syphilitic node on the
aorta, which then causes the life-threatening condition called aortic
syphilis is a systemic disease, the fourth stage could cause
irreversible effects including brain changes, decrease in liver
function, paralysis and heart inflammation. Approximately 25 percent
of syphilis patients will also suffer from brain inflammation
(encephalitis) because the cells and neural pathways have become
damaged. Many well-known individuals are thought to have suffered
from this condition such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Catherine the Great
of Russia and Ludwig van Beethoven.
also not unheard for the disease to have a person’s eyesight.
Is Syphilis Treated?
though there is a rise in the number of STD cases, including
syphilis, it’s still a rather touchy subject to most people. A
person infected with the disease may be shunned upon. In fact, HIV is
widely more accepted than syphilis. At this time, the only real
course of treatment for syphilis is penicillin.
officials are worried that syphilis could one day become resistant to
penicillin, which would have devastating consequences to the world.
There have been efforts to create other antibiotics to cure the
Is Necessary For Fighting The Disease
its long-standing history, many people have forgotten about the
disease. This is why it’s so dangerous. Although it can be treated,
the disease has not been eradicated. The only surefire to slow down
its progression is through education, counseling, therapy and
condom is the best protection against the spread of the disease
(condoms are ideal for all STDs like HIV). However, education and
research are still a good part of slowing down its progression. The
Center for Sexual Health and Medicine have made gathering syphilis
information its primary priority, but efforts still need to be made.
All this takes money. Governments around the world are not focused on the long-term effects the money can have. Researchers need money now to see breakthroughs five to 10 years from now. Every possible protection must be made against STDs. For example, researchers could develop a vaccine for HIV, which could be included in preventative health exams.
If applied to syphilis, it would be a decline in the number of cases for the disease as well as other STDs.