The cause of syphilis is a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. The most common route of transmission is through contact with infected person’s sore during sexual activity. The bacteria enter your body through minor cuts or abrasions in your skin or mucous membranes. Syphilis is contagious during its primary and secondary stages, and sometimes in the early latent period. You will increase the risk of acquiring syphilis if you:
* Engage in unprotected sex
* Have sex with multiple partners
* Are a man who has sex with men
* Are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
* Using the same toilet, bathtub, clothing, or eating utensils or for doorknobs, swimming pool or hut tubs with the infected person.