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Causes of Syphilis Infection

Syphilis, caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, spreads through sexual contact, pregnancy, and contaminated needles.

  • 05 Mar 2024
  • 2 min read


Syphilis is a prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is on the rise globally, especially among young adults ages 20-35. Understanding what syphilis causes are and how it is transmitted is critical in preventing its spread. Let’s learn about some of the significant causes of syphilis, which begins as a painless sore or rashes.

What are the Causes of Syphilis Infection?

Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which enters broken skin or mucous membranes during sexual contact. The pathogen can enter microscopic tears in vaginal, anal, or oral tissues when having unprotected sex with an infected partner. Less commonly, syphilis spreads through other means, such as from mother to child during pregnancy and delivery or via contaminated needles.

Some vital factors explain the recent uptick in syphilis cases. High-risk population include men who have sex with men (MSM) in urban regions where multiple sexual partners and anonymous partners are more common. The prevalence of online dating apps has also been linked to rising STI transmission by increasing access to casual sexual encounters. Additionally, because syphilis is asymptomatic in its early stages, many people unknowingly spread it to partners. Some even avoid STI testing out of fear, shame, or lack of resources and awareness.


The recent resurgence of syphilis stems from unprotected sexual contact, especially among young, urban populations with multiple partners usually met online. However, better access to testing and treatment, education about safe sex practices, health insurance, and reducing stigma can curb transmission rates. Protecting community health begins by understanding how and why STIs spread. 


Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your general physician or another certified medical professional for any questions regarding a medical condition. Relying on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk, and ICICI Lombard is not responsible for any effects or consequences resulting from the use of the information shared.


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