Sores on the genitals
Sores on the genitals (genital ulcers)
Most sores on the genitals are sexually transmitted. (There can be other causes of
sores on the genitals — like boils or injuries.)
Sores on the genitals should be kept clean. Wash them with soap and water.
Dry them carefully. Wash any cloth that you dry them with before you use it again.
WARNING! When a person has a sore on the genitals, it is
easy to get other infections through those sores — especially
HIV. The best way to prevent passing the infection to another
person is to avoid sex until the sores heal.
Syphilis is a serious STI that affects the whole body. It can
last for many years, getting worse and worse. Syphilis can
be cured if it is treated early.
Signs of syphilis
1. The first sign is a sore that may look like a pimple,
a blister, or an open sore. It appears 2 to 5 weeks after
sexual contact with a person who has syphilis. This
sore is full of germs, which are easily passed on to another person. The sore
does not hurt, and if it is inside the vagina, a woman
may not know she has it. But she can still infect
anyone she has sex with. The sore lasts for only a few
syphilis sore days or weeks and then goes away. But the infection
on a man’s is still there and continues to spread throughout
penis the body.
2. Weeks or months later, the infected person may get a sore throat, mild fever,
mouth sores, swollen joints, or a rash — especially on the hands, feet, belly,
and sides. During this time the person can pass the disease to others by
simple physical contact like kissing or touching, because the syphilis germs
are on the skin.
3. All of these signs usually go away by themselves, but the disease continues.
If a person with syphilis does not get treatment early, the syphilis germs can
cause heart disease, paralysis, mental illness (craziness), and death.
A Book for Midwives (2010)