What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) spread by direct contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex. If left untreated, it can cause brain, nerve and tissue damage, and death.
Anyone can get syphilis, but in Denver it most common among gay men and men who are having sex with men. Here are some quick facts about syphilis in Denver.
Syphilis Is Up!
- Cases of syphilis in Denver County climbed 75 percent in the last four years to 405 new cases in 2018, according to preliminary estimates.
- Although there have been an increasing number of syphilis cases in women of childbearing age, men still account for more than 90 percent of new cases.
- Communities of color, such as Latino and African American, have seen a more than two-fold increase in syphilis diagnoses..
It is very important to be screened for other STDs, including syphilis, every six months. Read our syphilis fact sheet (Spanish version) for information about who gets syphilis, symptoms of syphilis, and what to do if you test positive.
Testing and Treatment
Get Tested. If Necessary, Get Treated.
Syphilis is detected using a simple blood test and is easily curable. Convenient syphilis testing sites are located throughout the Denver metro area.
- STD information and conversation starters from Beforeplay.org
- Denver STD/HIV Prevention Training Center
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on syphilis
- Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains