Syphilis can be spread through all manner of sexual
encounters and oral sex is one of them.
Startling statistics from 2016 show that
gay and bisexual men make up 90 percent of new syphilis
infections in London and that London’s rate is three
times higher than the rest of England – so syphilis is
clearly a very infectious disease.
Syphilis can be spread by vaginal, oral and anal sex or
genital contact with an infected person. Most cases of
syphilis are treatable with antibiotics and it is preventable
through safer sex practices which include using condoms,
regularly being tested and avoiding overlapping sexual
Speaking to THEGAYUK.com Doctor Rick Viney said,
“It’s very easy to contract syphilis in this
way (through oral) It will present with an obvious ulcer on a
mucosal surface in the mouth but will be
How do you know that you have syphilis?
There are no specific symptoms for syphilis. There will
be the presence of one or more painless but highly infectious
sores (primary infection) which appear at the site of
infection. These sores disappear within two to six weeks in
the absence of treatment.
Secondary symptoms may develop six weeks to six months after
the initial sores. Later symptoms are highly variable, but
may include a rash on the palms or soles.
Late syphilis occurs four or more years after an untreated
primary infection. Complications may occur in the
mucocutaneous tissue, heart, respiratory tract or central
How is syphilis diagnosed?
Syphilis can be diagnosed via a simple blood test, which can
be provided at a sexual health clinic.
How can you protect against syphilis?
Syphilis is preventable with the use of condoms when having
sex – vaginal, anal and oral. You can use dental dams for
oral sex. Regular sexual health screening will also help
combat the spread.