Help Prevent the Spread

How does syphilis spread? 

Anyone can get syphilis through direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, oral or anal sex. Sores are not always visible, depending on their location. 

Syphilis can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her unborn baby. 

Syphilis does not spread through doorknobs, toilet seats, hot tubs, swimming pools, bathtubs. Syphilis cannot be transmitted by sharing clothing or eating utensils. 

How can I stay safe from syphilis? 

The only way to completely avoid syphilis and other STIs is to not have vaginal, oral or anal sex. If you do have sex, you can be safer by: 

  1. Being with only one partner who got tested and doesn’t have syphilis. 
  2. Using condoms the right way every time you have sex. 

Condoms may prevent syphilis if they prevent the direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sometimes, sores may be in areas that are not covered by a condom. Contact with these sores can still transmit syphilis.