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Syphilis

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Prevention

To prevent getting syphilis, you must avoid contact with infected tissue (a group of cells) and body fluids of an infected person. However, syphilis is usually transmitted by people who have no sores that can be seen or rashes and who do not know they are infected.

If you aren't infected with syphilis and are sexually active, having mutually monogamous sex with an uninfected partner is the best way to prevent syphilis.

Using condoms properly and consistently during sex reduces your risk of getting syphilis.

Washing or douching after sex won't prevent syphilis.

Even if you have been treated for syphilis and cured, you can be re-infected by having sex with an infected partner.

The risk of a mother transmitting syphilis to her unborn baby during pregnancy declines with time but persists during latent syphilis. To prevent passing congenital syphilis to their unborn babies, all pregnant women should be tested for syphilis.

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Last Updated December 17, 2010