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Syphilis- Kate’s story

Kate (19) has syphilis

After my doctor explained to me that it can be treated and cured, I breathed a sigh of relief”

Unprotected sex

I was 19 years old when I first had unprotected sex. We didn’t use a condom and that’s how I got syphilis.

Symptoms

A few weeks later, I got a painless sore around my vagina. A few weeks after the early symptoms had passed, I started to feel ill. I had fevers and headaches and noticed I was starting to lose weight. 

I had rashes all over my body. Often on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet.

After a few days of hoping all the symptoms would go away, I realised I’d have to go to a clinic. It was scary but I had to go. 

Test

At the clinic, I was asked some questions about my sex life. They offered to test for STIs.

When they examined me, they immediately knew what it was – syphilis. At first, I was scared but after my doctor explained to me that it can be treated and cured, I breathed a sigh of relief. 

I was given my medications there and after adhering to my doctor’s advice, I was healed. 

My advice to other people who think they have syphilis of other STIs, is to go and get tested.

I was really nervous about talking to the staff at the clinic but they couldn’t have been nicer to me and at that stage, I didn’t feel embarrassed. I was just so desperate to know what it was and to get it treated.

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