Syphilis Information

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Syphilis has four stages: primary, secondary, latent and tertiary. Each stage has different signs and symptoms. If left untreated, syphilis can cause serious health problems. 

Syphilis cases have been increasing in Virginia and in the US for the past several years. During 2023, early syphilis cases have increased 22% in Virginia.   

Women who can get pregnant are now becoming infected more often than they were 10 years ago.  More babies are born with syphilis after their mothers had syphilis while pregnant. 

Virginia Disease Prevention Hotline

  • Need to talk to someone?  Call our hotline at (800) 533-4148.  You can email a counselor at, too
  • Get connected to syphilis testing and treatment near you.  Have any of your questions about syphilis answered by hotline staff.
  • Learn more >

Information about Syphilis

Signs and Symptoms
  • What are the symptoms of syphilis?
  • What does the syphilis rash look like?
  • How long does the illness last?
  • Learn more >
Risk and Testing
  • Am I at risk for syphilis?
  • I am pregnant. How does syphilis affect my baby?
  • Where can I get tested?
  • Learn more >
  • How does syphilis spread?
  • How can I stay safe from syphilis?
  • Learn more >
  • Is there a cure for syphilis?
  • Can I get syphilis again after treatment?
  • Learn more >
Data in Virginia