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Syphilis Outbreak Closes LA Porn Industry

In an interesting turn of events the adult movie industry of LA has been ground to a halt after straight porn star Mr Marcus admitted to having worked while being positive for the sexually transmitted infection syphilis.

This has lead to a close down in filming while all associated performers and their co-performers get tested and treated.

Within the gay community syphilis infections continue with infection rates having doubled since 2006.

As noted by the US Centre Of Disease Control (CDC) website:

Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

The primary stage of syphilis is usually marked by the appearance of a single sore (called a chancre), but there may be multiple sores. The time between infection with syphilis and the start of the first symptom can range from 10 to 90 days (average 21 days). The chancre is usually firm, round, small, and painless. It appears at the spot where syphilis entered the body. The chancre lasts 3 to 6 weeks, and it heals without treatment.

Because the chancre or ulcer associated with the initial infection of  syphilis is not painful and sometimes in a location not easily seen, it can be missed or ignored.

This can lead to a secondary syphilis which shows up as a rash on the body.

Secondary syphilis typically starts with the development of a rash on one or more areas of the body. The rash usually does not cause itching. Rashes associated with secondary syphilis can appear as the chancre is healing or several weeks after the chancre has healed.

In addition to rashes, symptoms of secondary syphilis may include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue. The signs and symptoms of secondary syphilis will resolve with or without treatment, but without treatment, the infection will progress to the latent and possibly late stages of disease.

Treatment of both primary and secondary syphilis is important as if left it can lead to tertiary syphilis later in life which causes significant damage to multiple organs in the body including the brain, heart, eyes and liver.  Signs and symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, and dementia. This damage may be serious enough to cause death.

For this reason having syphilis checked as part of a regular sexual health check up is important as treatment when caught early is very simple.

Signs Of Potential Syphilis

Primary Syphilis

  • Firm
  • Round
  • About 1cm in diameter
  • Can be found on the penis, in or around the anus, on the lips, tongue or in the mouth.
  • Usually not painful
  • Usually present for 4-6 weeks

Secondary Syphilis

  • feeling unwell with headaches, muscle aches and pains, loss of appetite
  • reddish brown rash
  • rash can be across whole body but usually found on palms of hands and soles of feet
  • patchy hair loss
  • raised lymph nodes

It’s important to be aware that there are many diseases that can be associated with symptoms mentioned above however it’s important to consider syphilis in the list.

Good news is that treatment is available and when caught early it can be as simple as a single injection of penicillin.

Yours in good health.

Dr George