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Santé Montréal


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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the Treponema pallidum bacterium. Left untreated, it can cause serious complications in the blood vessels, heart, brain, liver and bones. It can even be fatal. 

  • The incidence of syphilis has gone up dramatically in the last ten years (284 cases reported in 2006 compared to 3 in 1998).
  • Thirty times more people are becoming infected than five years ago.
  • Nine out of ten infected individuals are gay or bisexual men.
  • The Faubourgs, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, the Plateau Mont-Royal, Pointe Saint-Charles, Métro and Saint-Louis du Parc CLSCs report infection rates of 20 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • The drugs used to treat syphilis are free-of-charge for infected people and their sex partners.
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When to Consult

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Protection and prevention

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Risk factors

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Help and Resources

Send an e-mail to a public health professional for answers to your questions about syphilis. 

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People at Risk

In Montréal, syphilis mainly affects men who have sex with men.

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Dernière mise à jour le : 2015.05.22