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I don’t know the full details of you or your partner’s situation but I can give you some general information on syphilis and how it is passed.
When someone gets syphilis they can develop sores and rashes, but most of the time people say they don’t remember having any symptoms. The way that we find syphilis is by doing a syphilis blood test and if a syphilis sore is present we can also take a test from the sore.
Syphilis sores are usually not painful and can develop where the syphilis went into the body and/or in the mouth, vagina, and anus.
In BC Canada we find that the syphilis we see has been passed to someone else by having sex e.g. oral, vaginal or anal sex. Condoms offer good protection but since they don’t cover the whole area it is possible for syphilis to still pass if a syphilis sore comes in contact with an area not protected by the condom.
It could be possible that syphilis can pass by non sexual ways if someone came in contact with a syphilis sore but it is something we have not seen in our area.
It can take up to 3 months for syphilis to show up in a blood test after someone has had syphilis passed to them. Given this we recommend if a sexual partner tested positive to syphilis and you had sex with them in the last 3 months then you should get the syphilis test as well as the treatment.
We know it can be a sensitive situation when someone’s partner gets an STI. Especially if it is suppose to be a monogamous relationship. It can sometimes be helpful to talk about your specific situation with the health care provider that did the testing as they can discuss how they have seen syphilis pass in their area.
Syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages. Have a look at our syphilis page for more information on syphilis.
Also have a look at our “Know your chances” web page, it provides information on your chances of getting or passing syphilis depending on how you are having sex.
Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.
For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.
This answer was posted on December 16, 2014