Syphilis is an easily transmitted illness caused by bacteria. Today, if it is diagnosed early, syphilis can be effectively cured with antibiotics. If it is not promptly treated, however, it can have serious consequences for your health. Syphilis is also sometimes called "lues" or "hard chancre".
For people with HIV, the illness often progresses more rapidly. It is also more common for the illness to reappear, despite medication, in HIV-positive people. In addition, the blood test for syphilis can sometimes return a negative result in HIV-positive people, although the person is actually infected with syphilis.
After undergoing syphilis therapy, HIV-positive people should have a regular blood test to ensure that the syphilis has been effectively cured and does not flare up again.
Syphilis infections are registered with the Robert Koch Institute, which monitors the spread of infectious diseases in Germany, by the practice or laboratory which identifies the illness. The name of the patient, however, is not passed on.