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A public health nurse called to tell me someone I had sex with has syphilis. They told me I should get tested, but I feel fine and don't have any sores. Do I really need to get tested?

Yes, go get tested.  If a public health nurse contacted you, it’s because you were probably exposed to syphilis.  Relying on symptoms to tell is not a good idea because many people who have it don’t have noticeable symptoms.  The only way to be sure is to get tested.

The good news is that syphilis is easily treated with antibiotics.  So even if you test positive, they can treat it right away.  Syphilis can be very serious if left untreated, so it’s best to deal with it as soon as you can.

We recommend that anyone who is sexually active talk to their testing nurse or doctor to come up with a routine for how often to test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs.)  That way you can stay on top of your status and keep yourself and your partner(s) safe. If you have sex before you can be tested, use a condom to help prevent the spread STIs.  Internal or external condoms are also a great way to play safe with people who are new to you or who are not sure of their own status.

Nine Circles offers STI testing but there are many locations around Manitoba to get tested.