In Aaron’s Syphilis Story, he talks about how he had very prominent symptoms, which isn’t always the case.

I went to a chemsex party. I don’t visit them often, maybe once or twice a year. A couple of days afterwards, I had a pain in my groin, sores in my mouth and discharge in my penis. Something was wrong, so I ordered an STD self-test kit online. I sent it off, and three or four days later, my test results came back saying I had syphilis, and it also said I had gonorrhoea in my throat. I immediately informed the guys at the party and instructed them to get a sexually transmitted infection check. No one reacted negatively; they appreciated my communication.

I went to my local sexual health clinic for treatment. It’s easy, very accessible, and treatment has no serious side effects. I dislike injections because I had to undergo them frequently as a child, although penicillin injections usually treat syphilis.

They offered me oral antibiotics instead, typically given if you can’t take penicillin for any reason, like having an allergy. It’s good to have choices! The clinic called me back for an STD appointment to test me again, and I was negative this time. Sorted!

My doctor told me that in many cases, syphilis doesn’t show any symptoms. I recommend getting tested every 3-6 months for an STD panel, depending on your level of sexual activity; it’s important for regular testing.


In Mike’s Syphilis Story, he talks about how one of his major STD symptoms went completely unnoticed because having a very similar issue a few months before.

About 5 years ago, I had a really bad rash from head to toe for about two or three months from when my psoriasis flared up. So, when I got another rash, I thought it was psoriasis again, even though it looked completely different. It still covered me from head to toe but was much redder. On top of this, I had a fever and really bad aches and pains in my back and my knees, too.t sucked because I was heading to Fire Island for a friend’s wedding.

Everything was so painful that I struggled to sleep. I couldn’t figure out what it was for my life. The fever was intense for only a day, and the STD rash disappeared after a month. I saw a different GP who misdiagnosed it, and it didn’t work out that it was syphilis. If I had seen my regular GP, she may have picked it up because I could have discussed my other symptoms.

I then thought that because I had psoriasis, I was getting arthritis as my feet had swollen up so badly. I had an appointment with an arthritis specialist, and the joint pain disappeared.

Sexual Healthcare Screening

I went for a sexual health screening because I hadn’t tested for about 6 months. I have an open relationship with my husband, and he tested positive for gonorrhoea.

When I got my STD results back, it turned out that I didn’t even have gonorrhoea, but I did have syphilis! It was a good thing that my husband got gonorrhoea because I didn’t notice the symptoms as a result of having it, and I didn’t know how long it would have gone unchecked.

I looked up the symptoms, and finally, everything made sense! I got treatment, and everything was fine. Now, I get checked every 3 months to be on the safe side.


In Antony’s Syphilis Story, he talks about being very recently treated for it. Being diagnosed came as a surprise to him because it wasn’t long ago that he had tested negative for it. He didn’t know the symptoms, so he didn’t know what to look for.

I was treated for syphilis this week!

Also, I get tested regularly, and my last few were negative. I never had syphilis before, and to be honest, I never worried about it as I’ve had other STIs before.

My last negative test was in November. In September, I received a text from a guy I hooked up with, saying he slept with someone who tested positive. I asked him to let me know if he tests positive for it because there have been times in the past when it turned out I didn’t have an STI, and I didn’t want to build resistance to antibiotics. He didn’t reply.


So, I got a self-exam, assuming that it would be negative because I was negative two months after we hooked up. An issue with COVID caused a delay in receiving my results. To my surprise, I tested positive for syphilis. 

I didn’t know the symptoms of syphilis. It was mild flu-like symptoms – I felt cold and shivery and had night sweats. I even got a COVID checkup because I thought it was that. 

I still don’t know if it was him or from another guy; the window period is so big it might not show up straight away. And contacted casual sexual partners using contact tracing. I contacted the more recent ones directly; there were mixed reactions. One got treatment, another asked what it was, one was due a test, and another blocked me.

I received a call from the clinic on Monday and underwent treatment on Tuesday.  After a day and a half, I felt much better. 


In James’ Syphilis Story, he talks about how he got it on holiday, not realising that his rash was anm STD symptom. He went for a sexual health screening and later discovered that he had neurosyphilis!

I got syphilis in Berlin, which is very on-brand for me. I was there for a week and had just started Pure for Men, a natural fibre supplement. A full-body rash developed, and thinking it was a side effect of the capsules, so I stopped taking them. It wasn’t on my hands or face, so I assumed it would disappear.

I went to Dean Street Clinic as I had a lot of condomless sex when I was away. They called me the next day, letting me know I had syphilis and that I needed STD treatment as the rash was getting bad. It was the first time I ever got emotional about having an STI because it was so visible, but I was with my friend, who said I would be fine. I contacted some guys I hooked up with on Grindr to let them know.


Thankfully, I worked near the clinic. I booked an appointment the next morning before starting work and received treatment for it. Also, I was single then, and the biggest crush of my life was hitting me up, but I knew I had to be responsible.

When I got to work after receiving the treatment, I was serving a customer who asked me if I was okay. I expressed confusion and asked why they were inquiring. The rash had now purged all over my face! It was so embarrassing. I was still working on my 12-hour shift. I left work and informed my manager that I had experienced an allergic reaction to the STD medication. Then, I hurried back to the clinic.

They told me that I had neurosyphilis and that the rash getting worse was a reaction to the STD treatment, but they said it should go away within a few hours, and they were right. Within 24 hours, it was completely gone.

I was able to go to work the next day, and now I can laugh about it and cross syphilis off the sexually transmitted infections bingo card.