Syphilis is a complex sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Syphilis can cause serious long term health complications if not adequately treated.
Syphilis is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with a syphilitic sore, known as a chancre. Chancres can occur on or around the external genitals, in the vagina, around the anus or in the rectum, or in or around the mouth. Transmission of syphilis can occur during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. In addition, pregnant women with syphilis can transmit the infection to their unborn child.
For more information on syphilis visit https://idph.iowa.gov/hivstdhep/std/resources