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What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum that manifests with infectious sores on the genitals, anus, lips or mouth. It can occur in both men and women. There are 3 stages of development of the disease, each stage accompanied by its own symptoms which, if left untreated, can have serious health consequences.


Syphilis is transmitted during vaginal, oral, or anal sex by direct contact of the skin or mucous membranes with infectious sores. Syphilis can also be transmitted from a mother to her unborn baby resulting in health complications during vaginal childbirth causing death of the baby before or shortly after birth.

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The risk of infection can be decreased by the correct use of latex condoms. It is also advisable to avoid anal, oral or vaginal sex with a partner who has the disease and it is important to practice monogamous after STD testing with your partner.

Signs and Symptoms

The infection has an incubation period of 14 to 21 days until the symptoms of the first stage or primary syphilis appear, in some cases the symptoms may go unnoticed.

Symptoms in Men And Women

(Primary syphilis)

  • Small, open, painless sore (chancre) on the genitals, skin, or in the mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes at the site of the sore

Symptoms in Men And Women

(Secondary syphilis)

  • Skin rash on the palms of the hands and feet
  • Sores around the genitals or mouth (called mucous patches)
  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Lack of appetite
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Hair loss
  • Vision changes
  • Sore throat

Symptoms in Men And Women

(Latent syphilis)

  • The disease progresses from secondary syphilis to a latent stage if untreated, at this stage there are no symptoms and can last for many years until the third stage of the disease is reached

Symptoms in Men And Women

(Tertiary syphilis)

  • Damage to the heart (aneurysm - valvulopathies)
  • Nervous system disorders (neurosyphilis)
  • Tumors of the skin, bones or liver


The recommended treatment to cure primary or early secondary syphilis is Penicillin IM a single dose; in advanced secondary or tertiary syphilis, up to 3 doses of penicillin may be necessary.

Persons with syphilis should inform their partner so that he/she can be tested and treated. Abstaining from sexual contact until the sores are completely healed will help prevent the continued spread of the disease.

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Patients have the flexibility to cancel their appointments at no cost if done 2 or more hours before the scheduled appointment time. However, for cancellations within 2 hours of the appointment start time, a $50 late cancellation fee will be applied, and the appointment price quoted at booking will not be charged.

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Patients can reschedule their appointments free of charge if the request is made 2 or more hours before the scheduled appointment time. If rescheduling is needed within 2 hours of the appointment start time, a $40 late rescheduling fee will be applied.


Unable to attend their appointments, patients must either cancel, reschedule, or contact 24hrDOC support for assistance. Failure to show up for an appointment will result in a $40 no-show fee, and the appointment price quoted at booking will not be charged.

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In certain circumstances, 24hrDOC may need to cancel or reschedule an appointment to ensure patients receive appropriate care. If 24hrDOC initiates the change, patients will not incur any change fees.

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