Lifestyle & Health : How could I have syphilis?

January 31, 2017

Dear Counsellor:

I saw a painless sore on my vagina a few weeks after having sexual intercourse with my husband. I went to the doctor and was told I’m infected with syphilis. 

Is that really true? How could I be infected with syphilis after having sex with one partner for 10 years?

Faithful Wife

Dear Faithful Wife:

Remember that syphilis is a bacterial infection of the sexual organs and that you get it by having sexual contact that is oral, vaginal and anal sex with someone who is infected.

You are a faithful partner because you are having sex with no one else but your partner. Is your husband having sex with no one else but you?

Remember it does not matter how many years you have been having sex with your partner, all it takes is one act of unprotected sex and you could be infected with sexually transmitted infections including HIV the virus that causes AIDS.

It is important for you to take safer sex seriously; unless you are in a mutually faithful relationship then you are at risk.

You have a personal responsibility of protecting yourself.  Unfortunately you should not depend on any one to protect you, not even your husband.

For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections call the AIDS/STD Helpline toll free at
1888-991-4444 or write to AIDS Affairs c/o the Star, 7 North Street, Kingston.


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