2 Reasons Why The New HIV Super Drug Could Lead To Syphilis


WomensHealth |

By Alice Paulse; Photography by Freeimages

The STD is in the spotlight again.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have conducted a study, published in the Sexually Transmitted Infections Journal and found that the ‘better HIV treatment’ could be driving up syphilis rates. Get informed on how…

The Fear Factor

The drug treatment HAART (highly active anti-retro viral therapy) which is used to suppress HIV and prevent the progression of the infections to AIDS, could be reducing the ‘fear factor’ as the absence of fear could prompt individuals to engage in risky, unprotected sex, which could lead to higher rates of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).

READ MORE: Can You Still Have Sex If You’re HIV Positive?

This leaves those who have been treated with HAART to feel as if they have a free pass on protected sex and results in having more sexual partners.

The Drug Lowers Your Susceptibility 

This treatment boosts your immune system activity and can lower susceptibility to infection. The study also says that drugs used to treat HIV could affect how the body responds to syphilis, unintentionally contributing to an outbreak, which has been reported in several countries.

As changes take place in your immune system, it would also hinder the body’s clearance of T.pallidum, which causes syphilis, as your body relies on an increase in the number of an immune system cell called a T cell and a flow of chemicals that create an inflammatory response. However HAART dampens down these activities.

How To Spot Syphilis

Syphilis is a chronic bacterial disease that could be contracted by other means. It’s usually passed down as a sexually-transmitted disease. In some cases, it could be spread through prolonged kissing (say what?!), as well as the common routes of transmission such as vaginal, anal and oral sex.

Signs and symptoms are sores in the mouth (which are often ignored), a rosy rash on your hands or the soles of the feet, swollen glands, and fever or weight loss. However, infection develops in stages, and if you’re unsure, it is best to check with your doctor — patients can receive an injection of Benzathine penicillin G in the early stages. This will not undo the internal damage, but will eliminate the infection.

Ever heard of the STD Mycoplasma Genitalium, a.k.a. MG? Here’s the low-down on the sexually transmitted disease that most people don’t even know about!

READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice Health Conditions HIV STDs and STIs