The information below was provided by the STD Program of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is spread by coming in direct contact with an open sore or rash of someone who is infected. It is usually spread through oral, anal or vaginal sex, but can also be spread by coming in contact with a sore or rash of an infected person by touching or kissing.
The first symptoms show up within 10-90 days (usually about 3 weeks) after a person becomes infected with syphilis. A sore called a chancre [SHANK-er] appears on the genitals, anus, mouth or fingertips. It lasts for 1-5 weeks. The chancre is a moist open sore and is usually painless. Syphilis is easiest to treat in this stage.
Symptoms may include all, some or none of the following: Body rash (many times on palms or soles), low-grade fever or sore throat. Symptoms usually show up 4-10 weeks after getting a chancre and go away in 2-6 weeks, even without treatment.
This stage can last up to 20 years. You may not have any symptoms but a blood test will show that you are still infected.
About 1/3 of all people who aren't treated for syphilis suffer serious damage to the heart, brain, nerves in the spine, eyes, bones or joints.
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center Monday - Friday, 11:30 am - 3 pm 1625 N. Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 (2 blocks West of Caheunga off of Hollywood Blvd.) - or - make an appointment at the STD clinic by calling (323) 993-7500
STD Testing/Treatment sites in L.A. County - Easy Online Search