What is Syphilis?


what is syphilis

what is syphilis

Very few people know that Syphilis can be more destructive than HIV.

It is no ordinary STD. It can be called the mother of all STDs. Though Gonorrhea  can contest for the position, yet I consider syphilis to be the root of all STDs, because it spares no area or organ in the human body.

This may sound very unscientific to many because every STD has its unique bacteria or virus, but there are other factors which makes these STDs are very similar. These micro-organisms not only replicate in human body but also create a susceptibility for future infections. The first infection of a STD renders the individual very susceptible to other venereal diseases. So, other than the susceptibility it causes, following are the causes for such a consideration.

The first reason for such a consideration is that  Syphilis is very very old. Throughout the history of the human race, you can find the references to the presence of syphilis. Some of the cases of leprosy or lepra were actually Syphilis in its tertiary stage but misdiagnosed.

However, the primary reason for such a consideration is that syphilis is very destructive. The extent to which syphilis can destroy human body is unimaginable for a common man. It can affect soft tissues, bones, teeth, skin, and vital organs like brain, eyes, liver, and almost any organ. It can completely destroy, deform, and disfigure the man body over time. It can destroy a human being physically as well as mentally. The symptoms of all other STDs can be found in a vast array of symptoms of syphilis.

The third reason is syphilis is caused by bacteria. The bacteria are primitive hence older than the evolution of viruses. The primitiveness of this disease confirms it is too old. The diseases caused by the virus are complicated and sophisticated, hence latest in origin. On the other hand, diseases caused by bacteria are comparatively simple and primitive. Probably, this simple STD has evolved with time to give rise to complicated viruses such as HIV and HSV.

Syphilis bacteria

Syphilis bacteria morphology

The cause of infection of this STD is a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. This bacteria is a spirochete. This s spiral shaped. This shape helps it to be highly mobile.

It can attack the human cells from both the sides of his long body. It has a head like structures at both ends.  Next to that is the insertion point that helps in attacking the cell membrane and penetrate it. The “axial filaments” help it in locomotion. It has bulbous growths at the outer side which is called the “balloon body.” The inner side of the coil is called the “intestinal mesosome” and the outside is call the “laminated mesosome.” The laminated mesosome is for its own protection from outside attacks on it. This is, though primitive, a well-developed bacterium.

How syphilis attacks us

The most common way of syphilis infection is intimate sexual contact, either natural or unnatural. This includes vaginal, oral or anal sex. It can also be passed to a person through prolonged physical contact with an infected person. Prolonged kissing with an infected person is no exception.

Other possible causes of contacting syphilis are sharing infected needles or infected sex toys with an infected person. Infected blood transfusions can be a direct cause of infections too.

However, that’s not the only one. An infected mother invariably passes it to her child. Such children are born with the disease. This is called congenital or neonatal  Syphilis. If the state of the mother is very advanced, say she has advanced to tertiary Syphilis state, then the child may be stillborn or if alive, can come with severe health problems. Such children have a very short lifespan and may die shortly after labor.

Syphilis is a highly contagious disease, but it needs direct contact. It can never propagate from a donor to a victim t survive for long without a host, it cannot propagate by sharing toilets, bathtubs, clothing, and utensils.

How common is it?

The number of reported cases of syphilis has risen substantially in the U.S.A in the past decade. There has been a regular increase in the number of cases, but they are considerably less in comparison to a number of cases of HIV. Men who have sex with men are very prone to this infection.

It is seen that people with this infection have some common complications. They are very prone to HIV, at least three to five times more in comparison to people who are clean. The cause for this is that the genital sores/chancres caused by syphilis can further crack and bleed during an intercourse. This open wound makes it easier for the HIV virus  to enter the blood easily during any sort of sexual activity.

If somebody contacts both HIV and syphilis, it can be really serious, because syphilis can progress much more rapidly under such conditions.

Preventing syphilis

The surest way to beat a syphilis infection is to say “NO” to form of sexual contact. Otherwise one can choose to have sexual contact with a partner who is clean and remains faithful thereafter.

One can minimize the risk of contracting any other sexually transmitted diseases by sticking to the following time-tested practices:

  • Use a male/female condom during sex
  • Use a dental dam, generally a square of plastic, during kissing or oral sex
  • Avoid sex toys or needles used by others

Best way to get rid of this killer STD is to detect it early by STD testing, and then go for appropriate treatment. Otherwise, it hides itself so you don’t feel the need to pay attention. It uses this time to attack and destroy those areas of the body first that it can access easily. It’s like a dangerous enemy who keeps bugging your home when you look elsewhere. When it reaches the “secondary stage,” it manifests again with some acute symptoms, but by then it becomes difficult to annihilate.

It keeps your attention away by imitating other diseases and for most of the time, it keeps you confused. What makes it the deadliest of all STDs is that it makes permanent changes to your body and your major organs; even your brain is not spared. It doesn’t stop till its victim lies dead.

Syphilis is neither difficult to diagnose nor cure. You can a get a  Home Syphilis Test Kit and get a diagnosis in about as quickly as 15 to 20 minutes. After a conclusive diagnosis, you can consult a doctor to start your treatment.  You have to get early antibiotic treatment.