Syphilis Home > Info About Syphilis

Syphilis is a type of sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by a type of bacteria called Treponema pallidum. This condition is sometimes called "the great imitator" because it has so many possible symptoms and they are similar to those of many other diseases.
If left untreated, syphilis can be fatal. A person's treatment options will depend on the stage of the disease, what symptoms are present, and the person's age and general health. However, penicillin is the preferred drug used to treat the disease at all stages.
Even with treatment, damage that has already occurred to body organs cannot be reversed. Also, having syphilis once will not protect you from getting it again.
(Click Syphilis for more info about this condition, including a description of the various stages.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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