The first symptoms of syphilis can come and go unnoticed as they are very mild and disappear spontaneously.

The initial symptom is a boil – usually a painful open sore near penis or vagina. It can also turn up near lips, anus or hands. If untreated, syphilis can lead to serious damage to the heart and central nervous system. Treatment can take years.

Penicillin remains the best treatment for syphilis.