What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a bacterial STD that can have very serious, long-term complications and lead to death when left untreated. Syphilis can be treated and cured! Symptoms of syphilis are divided into stages, which include: primary, secondary, latent, and late syphilis.
What does syphilis look like?
Symptoms of syphilis vary based on disease progression, but are not always visible. Syphilis has been called ‘the great imitator’ because it can cause so many symptoms similar to other STDs. The initial, painless syphilis sore can easily be mistaken for an ingrown hair, zipper cut, or any other harmless bump. The non-itchy rash that develops in the second stage of syphilis can show up anywhere on the body including the palms of hands, feet, arms, legs, and face. You may also never see any symptoms when infected, which leads to more serious complications. Make STD testing a regular part of your annual check-up.
How is syphilis spread?
Syphilis spreads by direct contact with a syphilis sore during anal, vaginal, or oral sex. This sore is not always visible! Most commonly, sores can be found in or around the penis, vagina, anus, rectum, or on the lips and mouth. Syphilis can also be spread during pregnancy from a mother to her unborn child.
How can I protect myself from getting syphilis?
- Abstain from sex
- Be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has tested negative for STDs
- Use latex condom and/or other preventive methods every time you have any type of sex
- Regularly be tested for syphilis and other STDs
Syphilis Elimination Task Force – Escambia County
The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (DOH-Escambia) leads the Syphilis Elimination Task Force in Escambia County. Currently, the task force meets on a quarterly basis to guide community response efforts to preventing the spread of syphilis. For more information about the task force or to join, please contact the STD Program at DOH-Escambia.
Location & Contact Information
Fairfield Service Center, 1295 West Fairfield Drive
The STD office is open Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. Call 850-595-6500, Option 1 to schedule an appointment or for more information.