Self-management

Prevention

There is no vaccine for syphilis. To help prevent the spread of syphilis, follow these suggestions:

  • Abstain or be monogamous. The only certain way to avoid syphilis is to forgo having sex. The next-best option is to have mutually monogamous sex with one partner who is uninfected.
  • Use a latex condom. Condoms can reduce your risk of contracting syphilis, but only if the condom covers the syphilis sores.
  • Avoid recreational drugs. Excessive use of alcohol or other drugs can cloud your judgment and lead to unsafe sexual practices.

Screening for pregnant women

People can be infected with syphilis and not know it. In light of the often deadly effects syphilis can have on unborn children, health officials recommend that all pregnant women be screened for the disease.

Aug. 17, 2016
References
  1. Syphilis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/default.htm. Accessed March 28, 2016.
  2. Hicks CB, et al. Pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and treatment of early syphilis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 28, 2016.
  3. Longo DL, et al., eds. Syphilis. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 28, 2016.
  4. Hicks CB. Diagnostic testing for syphilis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 28, 2016.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases: Treatment guidelines 2015. MMWR. 2015;64:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6403a1.htm. Accessed March 28, 2016.
  6. Partner services FAQs for the public and consumers of partner services activities. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/partners/faq-public.html. Accessed March 28, 2016.
  7. Syphilis – 2015 sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/syphilis.htm. Accessed March 28, 2016.