Syphilis Treatment

Reviewed by Ruthann Cunningham, MD, July 26, 2017

Can syphilis be cured?

Yes. When syphilis is in it early stages, it can be cured. Unlike viral infections (such as herpes and HIV), syphilis is caused by bacteria and antibiotics (e.g. penicillin) rid the body of the infection. The penicillin is usually injected into the muscle one time or, if syphilis is in a later stage, several times in 1 week intervals.

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Is there any follow-up treatment after the initial antibiotic dose?

Yes. Your healthcare provider will want to do a test of cure to make sure the antibiotic cured you. Typically these tests are done at 6 months after treatment. You'll also want to avoid sexual contact until treatment is completed and the test of cure reads negative.

Treatment does not protect you from getting syphilis again. You can get syphilis again.

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