Topics: Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Sexually transmitted diseases and infections Pages: 6 (2130 words) Published: May 8, 2013

Sexually transmitted diseases have been a major public health problem in the United States of America for many years now. The numbers of infections that have been sexually transmitted have sky rocketed up through the years and have been consistent through the past decade. Over the past decade, there have been around twelve million infections occurring annually throughout the United States of America. The reckless people of our nation have continued to spread the disease although through recent years, they have been some type of assurance that the numbers will decrease due to the control programs against the major sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhea and syphilis.

Syphilis is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease primarily spread by sexual activity, which includes oral and anal sex. Yet, every now and then the disease can be transmitted to another person through prolonged kissing or close bodily contact. The bacteria called Treponema pallidum causes syphilis. Syphilis is spread by way of spores but the vast majority of those sores go unrecognized. The carrier of syphilis is often unaware that they have the disease and they unknowingly pass it to his or her sexual partner or partners. Women whom are pregnant can spread the disease to their baby and may cause abnormalities or even death to the baby.

During the last five hundred years, Syphilis has been the most deadly and most common of sexually transmitted diseases until the discovery of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Syphilis has been traced back to times as early as 1905, when Schauddin and Hoffmann drew attention to the pathogenic agent. The incidence rose heavily during World War II, but dropped after with the introduction of penicillin. The lowest levels of incidence were during the 1950s. During the 1970s the numbers of the infected males have spread rapidly due to the fact that many men were having sexual intercourse with other men. Around the 1980s, the numbers of incidences have declined because of safe sex seminars and messages due to the uprising of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during that time.

Syphilis in today’s day and age is treated by means of penicillin, which became available at the end of World War II. This was the main cause of the decline in incidences of syphilis in our present time. Before penicillin or even antibiotics, syphilis was treated by mercury, bismuth and arsenic compounds.

They’re three different stages for syphilis infection. The early or primary stage of syphilis, the person who is infected will develop one or more sores that appear to be large bug bites and are often hard and painless. The sores occur around the genital area or in or around the mouth for an average of three weeks after exposure. The sores require no treatment to heal without any scars for at least six weeks.

The secondary stage of syphilis may last from one month to three months and begins within six weeks to six months from exposure. The most noticeable thing that happens to people with the secondary stage of syphilis is that they experiences rashes on the palm of their hands and the soles of their feet. The rashes may also occur on other parts of the body besides these. Some people may also experience moist warts in the groin area, white patches on the inside of the mouth, swollen lymph glands, fever, and weight loss. Secondary syphilis also requires no treatment in which the rashes will eventually heal or the symptoms will just go away.

The third stage or tertiary stage of syphilis is in most cases severe. If the infection is not properly treated, the disease may progress into a stage characterized by severe problems involving the heart, brain and nerves that can result to paralysis, blindness, dementia, deafness, impotence and maybe even death if not treated. The obvious treatment for the tertiary stage of syphilis is penicillin. There is also a type of syphilis that is called latent syphilis, in which...
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