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Syphilis is a sexually transmissible infection (STI). This page outlines the symptoms and treatment for syphilis.

What is it?

Syphilis can start as an ulcer somewhere on the skin or on the lining of the genital area. In its late stages, it can cause damage to the heart, brain and spinal cord.

How do you get it?

You can get syphilis through unprotected (no condom) vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the infection. It is also spread by close contact. It can be spread from mother to baby/pēpe through the placenta during pregnancy.

What are the symptoms?

A painless ulcer, called a chancre, usually on the genitals. In its second stage a rash and maybe other symptoms.

How is it treated?

Syphilis is treated with antibiotics.

Will this impact my partner/s?

Partners must be tested and treated. The best advice is not to have sex until both you and your partner/s have had treatment.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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