Syphilis and gonorrhea are two of the most spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the world. Syphilis is caused by a bacteria called Treponema pallidum. It evolves in four stages and symptoms differ from one stage to another. The primary stage manifests through one or more small skin ulcerations, called chancres.
Secondary syphilis consists of a diffuse rash, mainly concentrated on the palms and soles. The third stage, also known as latent syphilis, can last for years and it can manifest few or no symptoms. The last stage, also known as tertiary syphilis, involves neurological and cardiovascular issues, along with non-cancerous soft growths, called gummas.
Gonorrhea is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria Gonnorrhoeae. Signs and symptoms vary for each gender. Infected men experience a burning sensation while urinating, along with testicular pain and discharge. Infected women also experience burning with urination, along with vaginal discharge, irregular bleeding between periods, and pelvic pain. However, many infected patients show none of these symptoms. Complications of gonorrhea can cause damage to joints and heart valves.
The Number Of Syphilis And Gonorrhea Cases Increased Dramatically In The Past Few Years
Lately, the number of infectious syphilis and gonorrhea cases has increased alarmingly. Massive changes have been reported when comparing the number of cases from a few years ago to those of nowadays. In 2014, 1900 cases of gonorrhea and 160 cases of syphilis were reported. In 2018, the values showed dramatic changes, with over 5,000 cases of gonorrhea and 1500 cases of syphilis.
Medical experts specialized in the subject expressed their concern, warning primary care providers to take the matter seriously, while following the advice below:
- Create a tolerant non-discriminative environment where everyone, regardless of gender, race, or culture, should be respected and treated with extreme care so they can feel safe
- Ask patients, both teens, and adults, for permission before taking a sexual history, no matter the circumstances
- Offer safe sex guidance, while promoting the use of condoms when necessary
- Offer tests for syphilis, gonorrhea and other STDs to all of the sexually active and pregnant patients
- Recommend immunization against related complications, such as Hepatitis B, HPV and Hepatitis A