Learn the top myths and facts about syphilis in this Howcast video about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Expert: Jane Bogart, M.A.
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One of the big myths about syphilis is that it doesn't exist anymore and that it was something that happened a long time ago, and it killed people, and that I don't have to worry about it. And the fact is, that syphilis, although rates have been lower than in the past,it's actually on the rise in certain populations, especially among young men. So syphilis is still a concern and is something you need to think about if your sexually active. Another myth about syphilis is that it causes you to go crazy. And I think that myth comes from the fact that before there were treatments for syphilis, which are antibiotics, some very famous people had end-stage or final-stage syphilis, and one of the symptoms of that is actually insanity. And so that myth got attached to syphilis. The fact is syphilis, especially if caught early, is completely curable and that people don't progress to that end stage unless it's untreated. Another myth about syphilis is that it's not curable and that's just not true. Before there were antibiotics syphilis was not curable but once antibiotics became available syphilis became completely curable. And one final myth about syphilis is that you can tell if you have it. And the truth is there are symptoms in the first stage of syphilis which is, would be a chancre, which is sore that would show up on the penis, or the vulva or the anus. You can miss that sore. The sore will go away and you think that you don't have anything. But you will still have syphilis. So if you notice anything, any change on your skin, any sore on you penis, anything on the anus. You want to get that checked out. Cause could be one of several sexually transmitted infections. But if it's syphilis the earlier that your catch it, the earlier that you treat it, the better off you will be.