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Syphilis: Feast or Famine?

July 10, 2018

The purpose of this post is to help educate you on Syphilis, its history, symptoms, the progression of the disease, and how to treat it.

If you're worried about Syphilis, our #Sorted! and #LoveBox (for couples) testing packages include effective blood-based screening tests that you can do at home. If it's just Syphilis you're worried about, we've just released our #Syphilis Test Box as a single test.

Syphilis is no joke, it's the godfather of STIs. It's one of the most destructive sexually transmitted infections aside from HIV. Syphilis is a contagion that over time, ravages the body entirely. In the end, it renders its victim brain dead.

In New Zealand, there has been a rise in the number of cases of Syphilis, with over 470 incidences reported in 2017. Statistics have shown that the rise in Syphilis is primarily found to occur in the Auckland and Wellington regions, where seventy percent of cases are made up of gay or bisexual males aged 20 to 39 years old. 

Syphilis, an infection dating as far back as 1495, was recorded as an epidemic disease among the soldiers of Charles VIII of France during the invasion of Naples. Emerging in the form of genital sores, followed by abscesses and ulcers, Syphilis would send soldiers into severe spasms of systemic pain. Unfortunately, remedies in the 1400’s were few and hardly effective. One of the main methods of treatment used during these times was Mercury. Although mercury is an antibacterial agent, the cons of its use far outweighed the pros.

So how does Syphilis progress? Syphilis progresses over four stages, primary, secondary, latent and tertiary.  Primary syphilis occurs three to four weeks after transmission and is usually characterised by small, round chancre sores (like a painless ulcer). This sore usually remains for anywhere between two to six weeks. The secondary stage of syphilis is characterised by skin rashes and a sore throat, both symptoms that go away without treatment. The latent stage of syphilis is absent of any symptoms. This stage can last for years before progressing to tertiary syphilis. Tertiary syphilis is the last stage of progression and is characterised by symptoms such as the destruction of soft tissue and bone, and neurological disorders. This final stage can occur years or decades after the initial point of infection.

Syphilis is commonly diagnosed by taking a blood sample in combination with an initial physical examination by your doctor. Primary and secondary syphilis can be easily treated with a penicillin injection. Latent syphilis, where the infection has spread to the brain and spinal cord, requires daily penicillin antibiotic injections. Unfortunately, the damage caused by Syphilis during the latent stage of infection is irreversible.

Check out our #Sorted! and #LoveBox (for couples) testing packages. Get checked to ensure that you aren’t at risk of the damage caused by sexually transmitted infections. Don’t give STIs the opportunity to affect your health. Remember, better safe than sorry!

Update 20/07/2018:

We've just released the #Syphilis Test Box as an individual test to address the current epidemic in New Zealand. This gives easy, convenient access to a single test. Plus you can add cover for a consult with our health professionals and treatment.


Did you know that many STI's don't have symptoms? If left untreated they can seriously damage your fertility, health and life.

If you’re unsure what to do or if you’re worried about an STI, we’re here to help with safe and easy tests you can do at home.

Don’t risk your health!

ORDER A TEST NOW



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