aka The Great Pretender (sifilis)
A nasty but curable infection that used to be responsible for devastating epidemics, but now can be treated and cured if spotted early enough. Like HIV, syphilis is present in cum and blood. People with syphilis develop painless sores, known as chancres (“shankers”), in their mouths, and on their balls, dick and ass. So if you’re fucking, as a top or a bottom, giving or getting head, these bacteria can be passed on to you.
Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. You can get it from fucking, rimming, oral sex or deep kissing. Sores occur mainly on the penis, anus, rectum, lips and in the mouth. Syphilis can be spread even if there is no sexual penetration. You can’t catch it from toilet seats, hot tubs or shared clothing.
If you think you may have been in contact with syphilis, GET TESTED. If you’re sexually active, get tested every three months. Syphilis infections are treatable and curable with antibiotics but untreated syphilis can lead to organ damage, including brain damage, and death. Syphilis can hang around undetected for years, or can progress waaay too quickly in someone with HIV. And while we’re on the subject, syphilis infection makes HIV easier to transmit and can even worsen HIV. Yeah, not much fun…
Syphilis goes through four stages:
Tertiary (or late)
The following are typical symptoms, but may manifest in other ways:
This can be marked by the appearance of one single painless sore, the “chancre,” on the dick, balls, ass or mouth. Just one…that’s it. This can last from one to five weeks, and will generally just disappear quietly on its own. You still have syphilis when the sore’s gone, and you can still pass it on to others.
Develops from a couple of weeks to six months after infection.
The symptoms, which can last from 2 to 6 weeks, can include:
A rough, reddish-brown rash, generally not itchy, that appears on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet.
Rashes on other parts of your body.
Moist and raised skin infections around your butthole or dick.
Sores on the mouth and throat.
Loss of hair.
Generally feeling crappy.
These symptoms will clear up whether you get treatment or not. But if you’re not treated, this stubborn disease will still be there.
The bacteria go into hibernation for a while, maybe two, maybe 30 years. No symptoms, no signs, nothing. But you’ve still got it, and you’re still infectious.
Late Stage Syphilis
Then for some reason the bacteria wake up again some time, causing:
Tumors on the skin, bones, liver or any other organ.
Chronic nervous system disorders, such as blindness, insanity and paralysis.
If treated during this period, the tumors will usually disappear. If you get treated at this phase you can cure the disease and stop future damage to the body; it cannot repair or reverse any damage you got hit with before treatment.
If you think you may have syphilis, or if you have been exposed to syphilis, GET TESTED. Those sores can be hard to find, hiding away in the mouth, under the foreskin, or on the anus.
A doctor can make a diagnosis by examining the pus from the sores, or do a blood test to look for the bacteria. If the doctor diagnoses syphilis, you will be given antibiotics. If you have HIV, tell your health care provider, as the antibiotic may not be as effective.
You can be infected over and over again, even after you’ve been treated.