Prevention of Syphilis

By  , Expert Content
Sep 21, 2011

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Prevention of Syphilis

Self-care is important and effective in preventing an initial infection of or re-infection with syphilis and the same applies to most sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Read to know what you can do to prevent syphilis.


  • Avoid sex: This is the surest way to avoid transmission of any sexually transmitted disease, including syphilis. It includes avoiding all types of sexual contact including oral sex. However, this is not a very practical option.
  • Be monogamous: The next best option to avoiding sex is to remain in a relationship with one sexual partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected and is in a monogamous relationship with you.
  • Use condoms: Condoms can decrease the risk of getting infected with syphilis or other sexually transmitted diseases if you don’t know the infection status of your partner. It is advisable to use condom throughout sexual contact.  However, many people with syphilis can have ulcers in areas that are not covered or protected by a condom. Therefore, you can still get infected. Condoms can help to protect you from syphilis if the genital ulcers are covered or protected by the condom.
  • Avoid high risk behaviours: Avoiding high risk behaviours such as excessive alcohol and drug use, having multiple sexual partners (each additional sexual partner increases your risk of being exposed to the infection) and becoming sexually active at young age. All these can propel you towards contracting the infection.


To prevent infection with any sexually transmitted disease it is important that sex partners talk to each other about their HIV status and history of other STDs and take preventive action.


Prevention of Transmission from Mother to Baby


Syphilis can be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby. Transmission of infection to the baby can be prevented by treating the mother with penicillin. Penicillin is considered as the drug of choice for treatment of syphilis even during pregnancy. However, if you are allergic to it, the doctor will allow for desensitisation procedures before starting treatment with penicillin.


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