Syphilis in Singapore: Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. Antibiotics can cure it if treated early, but if left until later it can cause permanent damage.
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Syphilis is a disease caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. This is a long, slender, spiral-shaped bacterium. While it’s relatively easily transmitted by certain types of direct contact between people, the bacteria are not able to survive outside of a human body for very long. For this reason, syphilis cannot be transmitted on objects such as toilet seats.
Syphilis is almost always a sexually transmitted disease, although it can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy or at birth. Syphilis is acquired by direct contact with the infectious lesion of another person. The bacteria can move through mucous membranes, which are moist linings such as the mouth and vagina, even if they’re healthy. They can also move through skin if the skin is compromised in some way, such as by having a small cut or scrape. The infection goes through a predictable series of stages.
In Singapore, syphilis rates had been declining over the past few decades, but there has been a recent rise in syphilis rates, particularly among men who have sex with men. This could be due to engaging in more risky sexual behavior, including having sex with many partners, and frequently having unprotected sex (sex without a condom or other form of barrier protection).