Sex Advice

Dear Dr. Locker: I recently met a beutiful woman who has been treated for syphilis. I'd like to know if I am at risk if I were to engage in sex with her.

Answer from Dr. Locker

That depends. Syphilis is one of the STIs that can be cured when it is treated. If she has been successfully treated, then she no longer has syphilis, and can no longer pass it on. Yet if she is currently under treatment, or if she has never been treated for it, then you are at risk! You should use condoms effectively every time you have sex.

If you want extra reassurance from her that she has been treated, talk to her about the exact treatment that she had. Syphilis is easily treated with one injection of penicillin, or taking tetracylcine or erythromycin -- that’s the treatment that she should say she had. Also, syphilis is detected from a blood test, and once it is treated and cured, the re-test will be negative; so you could ask her to get retested. If you are still really worried, ask her if you can talk to her doctor about it. Use condoms.

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