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JAMA Patient Page
February 18, 2009


JAMA. 2009;301(7):792. doi:10.1001/jama.301.7.792

Syphilis, a disease caused by the Treponema pallidum bacterium continues to be an important public health problem. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and can be transmitted by all types of intimate contact including genital, oral, and anal sex. Use of a condom during all sexual activity can reduce the risk of infection. Individuals who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are particularly susceptible to contracting and spreading syphilis and are often unaware of either diagnosis. Treatment at any stage is important because untreated syphilis can result in life-threatening illness. The February 18, 2009, issue of JAMA includes an article about treatment of syphilis.