HIV is caused by a virus known as a retrovirus. The combination of medications used to treat HIV is known as antiretroviral therapy (ART).
What are the Symptoms of Syphilis?
Syphilis can be divided into 4 stages- primary, secondary, latent and tertiary stages. Each stage is associated with different symptoms and signs.
- A person can appear with a sore or multiple sores (also medically known as chancre) at the site of infections. The sites of sores are typically found around the genitals, back passage or even around the mouth. Although individuals may differ, the sores typically are not painful, round and firm.
- The sores in Primary Syphilis tend to appear 10-90 days after infection.
- The sores last 3-6 weeks and heals spontaneously regardless of whether you have received treatment. This can allow syphilis to go unnoticed and untreated. Even if the sores have healed, you still need to get yourself treated to prevent your infection from proceeding further to secondary syphilis.
- One may appear with more systemic symptoms such as fever, skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, patchy hair loss, weight loss, lethargy, muscle and joint aches, headache. You may experience skin rashes that ranges to red or brown spots over your palms and bottom of your feet. Some may even experience rashes over the mouth or the body.
- Secondary Syphilis symptoms typically occurs 3 weeks to 6 months after infection.
- Eventually, the symptoms will resolve even if you don’t receive treatment. It is important to receive the right treatment to prevent the infection from further progress to the latent and tertiary stages of syphilis.
*Primary and Secondary Syphilis may be missed by both the infected person and the physician as the symptoms can appear mild, and recover over time without much notice.
Latent Phase of Syphilis
- This is a stage where the infected person presents without any signs and symptoms.
- This phase can occur within 1 year of onset of infection, or beyond 1 year of onset of infection, some with an unknown duration of onset of infection.
- This stage of Syphilis can be associated with severe health problems, affecting a person’s heart, brain, the nerve system, and the eye.
- In severe cases, tertiary syphilis can damage your internal organs and result in fatality.
- Tertiary syphilis can lag behind the time of infection up to 10-30 years later.
- When untreated syphilis is spread to the brain and the nervous system, it is known as neurosyphilis.
- Symptoms of neurosyphilis include:
- Profound headache
- Muscle paralysis and numbness
- Poor coordination of movement
- Mental disorder and memory impairment (dementia)
- When untreated syphilis is spread to the eyes, it is known as ocular syphilis
- One may experience:
- Visual disturbances
- Or even blindness
*Both neuro and ocular syphilis can occur any stages of syphilis discussed above.