Author: Gordon K. Klintworth
Acquired syphilis is a venereal disease that occurs in individuals who are not borne with syphilis [syphilis - congenital], but who acquire the infection later in life. The infection is due to the spirochete Treponema pallidum. The disease is acquired from sexual contact with an infected person. Prostitutes are the main reservoir of infection and precocious sexual behavior with multiple partners is a major risk factor. Acquired syphilis is divided into three stages (primary syphilis [syphilis - primary], secondary syphilis [syphilis - secondary] and tertiary syphilis [syphilis - tertiary]). Spirochetes can be identified in the lesions of primary and secondary syphilis with special stains (such as the Warthin-Starry stain). Syphilis, including ocular syphilis is recognized complication of AIDS. Ocular syphilis can occur in hosts without any risk factors for AIDS.