Syphilis is a mighty morphing STD that is hard to detect. Its symptoms don’t occur in a consistent order, but experts have narrowed them down to four stages. The primary stage is when a firm sore, called a chancre, appears around your lady parts. You can get one firm sore or many love bumps. They may dry out and heal, but you’re still stuck with the infection. The second stage includes on-and-off rash, fever, fatigue, aching, and sore throat. The third stage is the hidden stage, when symptoms don’t appear for years, as this STD attacks and progresses.
If left untreated, syphilis can damage your heart and brain in the final stages. The tertiary, or late syphilis, stage also attacks the eyes, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. Signs of late syphilis include paralysis, numbness, blindness, and even dementia. If you think you might have the Syph, you need to get treatment as soon as possible. Your chances of getting HIV increase if you have syphilis because chancres make it easier to pass on and acquire HIV.