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Syphilis Patient Story

Syphilis can not only be a painful disease, but it can potentially be fatal. It is spread through vaginal, oral or anal sex. Usually symptoms appear about three weeks after someone has been exposed. However, this is not always the case. There are four stages of syphilis and each stage has different symptoms.


Syphilis Patient Story

Following is a patient recalling how she contracted syphilis and the advice she gives other women.

“When I was 23, I met a guy who I thought could possibly be the one. We became friends and hung out all the time. I was ready to make love to him when the time was right. One night he stayed over, and it seemed like the right time. It seemed like the natural next step in our relationship. We spent the night together and made love. He wore a condom, but it broke while we were having sex. Over the next few weeks, we continued to hang out and have sex, using condoms for protection.

“I Noticed a Rash and Sores on My Vagina”

The good news is that I didn’t get pregnant from the one time the condom broke. I was not ready to have a baby at that time. The bad news is that he gave me syphilis and I lost respect for the man that I thought was perfect.


About 2-3 weeks after our first sexual experience, I noticed a rash and sores that suddenly appeared on my vagina. The rash had already spread to my legs, and it honestly looked like I had some sort of awful disease like leprosy.

“I was so scared I was shaking in fear of what was going on with my body.”

Luckily, I was established with an OB/GYN, so they were able to see me immediately. After a blood test confirmed it was syphilis, I had to go in for shots of antibiotics every week for a month. The symptoms went away, but I will never forget the trauma of the whole ordeal that I went through.

“My Advice: Get Tested Before Having Sex With Anyone, and Make Sure They Are Tested Too”

So, what advice would I give to young women? I’d say that most people don’t even think about STDs and assume it won’t happen to them. That is absolutely not true. I recommend getting tested before you have sex with anyone, and make sure they are tested too.

Honest and open communication with your partner is key. STDs are awful. It’s painful, scary, and embarrassing. No matter how much you think you can trust your partner, get tested, get them tested, and always use condoms. You can’t be too safe.

And by the way, apparently, he wasn’t the guy for me. We broke up shortly after I found out he gave me syphilis. I just couldn’t trust him after that. I’m currently still looking for ‘the one’!”

Speak Up and Take Control of Your Health

Once you are in a relationship, decide and agree on mutual monogamy with a trustworthy partner. If you notice any red flags, speak up and don’t back down. You are worthy of a partner who respects you, values you and will not want to harm you. If you suspect they are being unfaithful, get tested again. Use condoms. They are not 100% effective at preventing STDs, but they can make an enormous difference. If condoms aren’t available, wait it out. Your health and your life is more important than anything temporary.

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