Syphilis is a common and well known sexually transmitted disease (STD). Sexual intercoarse is the most common of 3 possible ways to contract it. If it is not transmitted sexually, it is possible, but rare, to get an infection through direct contact. Your body will also accept the disease from your birth mother. This is called congenital syphilis.

Many historic figures have suffered from syphilis, including Pope Alexander VI, Christopher Columbus, King Henry VIII and five of his wives, Francis I of France, Ivan the Terrible, Queen Elizabeth I, King Edward VI, Napoleon I of France, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Al Capone. As you can see, syphilis dates a long way back.

Known to many as “Syphilis – The Great Imitator” [], syphilis is a very difficult disease to diagnose. It is very often confused with other sexual diseases. There is a reported 35,000 cases of syphilis each year, 60% being male. Sadly, syphilis can take the life of its victims if it is left untreated. it can also result in damage to the heart, brain, and nerves. To treat the STD, there are two options; daily pills (this is the least effective method) or penicillin. For treatment, a half dose of penicillin is injected into each buttock. This is extremely painful, so procaine is added for some relief.

Syphilis can be atrocious or mild, but either way, you do not want it. If you are uncertain, get checked anyways, it could be the difference between life and death.

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