A person who has symptoms of primary or secondary syphilis can pass a syphilis infection to his or her sex partner. During sexual intercourse, the bacteria can pass from sores to the uninfected sexual partner through tiny breaks in the skin. To prevent this from happening, any sexually active person who is not having sex with just one uninfected person should always use a condom during sexual activity. Every pregnant woman should have a blood test for syphilis to prevent passing the infection to her baby.
People in the first year of infection usually can be cured with a single injection of penicillin. People in later stages require longer treatment with penicillin. All sex partners of people with syphilis should be treated as well. Babies born with congenital syphilis must be treated with penicillin for several days.