SYPHILIS / GONORRHEA
by Gerry Tarr
One of life's great joys is the thrill and excitement of sexuality. Since the beginning of time, individuals have indulged themselves in erotic ecstasy. But,
as with most things, there are drawbacks.
Syphilis and gonorrhea are spread by sexual contact. In Texas, over the past two years, infectious
syphilis increased 36% among women and men 20-24 years
old. It increased 18% for those 15-19 years of age.
Over the past four years, gonorrhea increased 23% in the
15-19 age group and 24% in the 20-24 age group. Significant increases in both syphilis and gonorrhea have
been seen in the age group 25 and over.
With syphilis, if any symptoms appear at all, the
first stage symptoms will generally begin 10-90 days
(average 21 days) after exposure. A painless lesion
(sore) appears on the genitals, mouth, rectum, vagina,
or any other site exposed to the germs. This lesion
may last several days or weeks. It will gradually disappear without treatment.
Within a few days, or even up to 10 weeks after
the first lesion disappears, a body rash, whitish
patches in the mouth, swollen joints, flu-like illness,
and/or loss of hair may occur. Any of these symptoms
will last several weeks and then disappear without
In the last stage of syphilis, if untreated, these
complications may occur 5, 10, 15, even 20 years after
Syphilis screening at Club Dallas baths. STD
clinics are appearing all over the country.
Roy Hall/METRO STAR
infection: brain and organ damage,
heart disease, death. „.,_
The symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear 2-6 days
after contact with an infected individual. They may be
so mild that they go unnoticed or they may not appear
at all. Men may have a burning pain when urinating and
a discharge of whitish pus from the penis. Seme men
with the disease have no apparent symptoms. There are
usually no symptoms of gonorrhea in women. For both
sexes, there may be no symptoms or a mild to severe
sore throat, fever and chills, if the infection is
oral. An anal infection may have either no symptoms,
or a discharge, intense rectal irritation, a feeling
of an incomplete bowel movement, and burning during
defecation or intercourse.
If untreated. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
is the most common and dangerous complication of gonorrhea in women.
Every case of syphilis and/or gonorrhea requires immediate examination and treatment of all
sexual partners in order to prevent serious complications and the possibility of further spread.
By state law, all cases are confidential. Minors
may request their own examination and treatment without
fear of parents or guardians finding out.
Remember, only you can protect your health and
that of those you care about! For further assistance,
call your physician, local health department, the Gay
Nurses' Alliance of Austin, or the National Hotline,
(toll free) 1-800-523-1885.
Protect yourself and others!
Human Rights Advocates
P.O. Box 39406
San Antonio, Texas 78239
YES1 I believe In a professional approach to legislative
advocacy for gay civil rights in Texas.
PLEASE INCLUDE MY NAME ON THE LEGISLATIVE ALERT LIST.