The use of a condom is essential to protect yourself and your partners against STDs. If you have any concerns, you should have an STD screening test. In the event of an infection, follow the treatment correctly and inform your sexual partners.

How is syphilis transmitted?

  • During sexual intercourse without a condom (vaginal, anal and oral)
  • Through contact with a skin lesion (the chancre and the rash that appear in the 2nd stage are very contagious)

During sexual relations, it is more likely that syphilis will be transmitted from a man to another man or from a man to a woman than it is from a woman to a man.

Syphilis cannot be caught through contact with a toilet seat, in swimming pools, saunas, etc.

DID YOU KNOW? Syphilis can be transmitted through the blood during a blood transfusion or when using intravenous drugs, but these modes of transmission are very rare in Belgium. Donors' blood undergoes strict screening for syphilis.

Sciensano compiles two reports each year documenting the evolution of STDs in Belgium. The reports are based on data-collection networks.


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