Syphilis is a bacterial infection that infects the dick, throat or arse and then spreads to different parts of the body through the bloodstream. If left untreated syphilis can cause damage to the nerves, bones, skin, eyes, and brain.

Some popular misconceptions about syphilis are:

* If you have a sexually transmissible infection (STI) such as syphilis you will know. Wrong: sometimes syphilis will have vague symptoms like rashes which can be confused with other things or you may notice no symptoms at all.

* Having syphilis is not curable. This is wrong: syphilis is treatable. It’s important to treat syphilis early to avoid further transmission and also avoid the development of more serious symptoms, especially if you are HIV positive.

* If you’ve had it once you cannot get it again. This is incorrect: you can be infected with syphilis over and over again even after you have been treated.

Next week: LGV (Lymphogranuloma venereum): the facts

info: Information on syphilis and other STIs is available at www.thedramadownunder.info

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