Can I get rid of syphilis?
Yes. Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics, although the damage syphilis does to the body in the later stages can’t be reversed. It’s more difficult to get rid of than other STIs, and the antibiotic is usually given by injection into your bum muscle.
How is WRHA Public Health involved?
Public Health keeps an eye on disease trends and outbreaks. To do this, every time someone tests positive for an STI in Winnipeg, the Public Health Act says that the result has to go to Public Health. A public health nurse gets assigned and connects with the person who tested positive. The role of the public health nurse is to a) make sure that the person was treated, and b) work with the person to make sure that their sexual partners are informed (see below).
Why should I share my results with my sex partners?
If you have syphilis, someone you had sex with may also have it. If they have it and do not get treated:
They could get sick
They could infect others
You could get infected again if you have sex with them
When you cannot tell someone you have an STI, a Public Health Nurse can do it for you. The Public Health Nurse understands that it may not be safe to share your results with someone. They will connect with the person to tell them to get tested for an STI and share information about sexual health. They will not reveal who named the person and will not give any information about you.
If you only know the screen name of your sex partner, that is ok too. Public Health Nurses can connect with people on Squirt, Grindr, Tinder, or whatever the next big thing is. Just remember that—no matter what tool they use—policies and provincial law always protect your confidentiality. Public Health will never release anything about your health to anyone, even to your partners.
In Winnipeg you can reach a Public Health Nurse at 204-250-8504.