We report the case of an HIV-infected man returning from Thailand with secondary syphilis with general symptoms, hepatitis and a pulmonary mass lesion. A cerebrospinal fluid examination showed no signs of neurosyphilis. Two months after successful treatment with benzathine penicillin he presented with a mass lesion in the brain suspected to be a glioma or glioblastoma, which turned out to be a syphilitic gumma. Syphilis remains a great imitator in clinical medicine. Syphilitic brain gummata can develop within a few months.