Most of the symptoms of Syphilis resemble those of other less serious diseases, therefore the diagnosis and treatment is delayed in most cases. In some cases, this bacterial infection is also passed on from the mother to a newborn.
The majority of syphilis infection cases occur in sexually active people within the age group of 20 to 40 years. Men are more prone to this infection than women. As a result of this infection, chancres (sores) occur all over the outside of the genitals, vagina, anus, or rectum. The chancres may also develop on the lips or inside the mouth. The infection spreads by direct contact and sexual intimacy.
The infection may also manifest itself in the form of brown spots on the palms and the soles of the feet, fevers, swollen lymph glands, a sore throat, hair loss, headaches, and loss of weight, fatigue, and muscular aches. During the final stage of the infection, there will still be no definite symptoms to indicate the presence of Treponema pallidum and the disease goes undetected. The eyes, joints, brain, heart, liver and other internal organs will be severely damaged and culminate in debilitating the body by causing paralysis, blindness, numbness, dementia and even death of the infected individual.
Like in the case of the other sexually transmitted diseases, people infected with syphilis also face discrimination and prejudice due to the heavy social stigma associated with this disease. The discrimination may either be born out of disgust for the victims, who are considered to be promiscuous (especially women) owing to the fact that they acquired the disease due to sexual contact. The infected individual may often end up being treated as an outcast by the society.
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