Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Yes, this is syphilis bacteria. Why you ask? Well I was very surprised to hear that the high school within school district I work for has several cases of syphilis. I don't really know why I was surprised, maybe because you don't really hear about it anymore. It doesn't seem to be one of the more popular STDs. What's sad about it is that the female (a sophomore) that had it passed it on to several partners but couldn't remember all of the guys she'd been with to let them know. A fifteen year old that has had so many sexual partners that she can't remember them all! I feel for her. What is so awful in her life that causes her to get her affection from a parade of different boys? I've never been one for casual sex. Call me old fashioned but I didn't have "recreational" sex. I had to be in a committed, loving relationship. What adults do in their private life is their business but a child and yes at 15 she's still a child, well that's not right. I won't show you any of the pictures of the actual symptoms of syphilis, they're gross, take my word for it.

Consider this as a Public Service Announcement. I'm going to give you a tutorial on syphilis.

Primary stage: Symptoms can appear anywhere from 10-90 days after infection with 21 days being the average. You will have a single or sometimes multiple, firm, round, painless sore(s) on your genitals. Untreated this will last 3-6 weeks then it goes away. You can be tested with a simple blood test and syphilis can be cured very easily with penicillin.

Secondary stage: Untreated syphilis presents itself as a skin rash that doesn't itch, sometimes on the palms and soles. You may have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, headache, fatigue or weight loss, you feel like you may have the flu. As you can see, these symptoms can also occur with many other illnesses. I had all of them when I had strep throat and tonsillitis a few weeks back. Since it imitates other illnesses, it goes unchecked.

Late stage: This stage there are really no symptoms at first but Syphilis is damaging your internal organs including your brain, eyes, nerves, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, joints and can cause dementia and insanity. In the worse case, death can occur. All from an untreated STD.

There have been many famous people that have had syphilis, to name a few, Hernando Cortez, a Spanish explorer, Ivan the Terrible, Al Capone, JFK, Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

With all the attention turned to AIDS, there are still diseases out there that people need to be educated about. Consider that done.