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syphilis test results, what do they mean?

ok so i been trying to get a exact clear answer form multiple nurses and drs and they only thing they keep saying is retest in 6 months. i keep asking when i can have sex again and they didnt give me a answer, a shoulder shrug and a 6 months i guess, is what i got. one person said call the cdc. i tried that and coul not undertand the broken language the people were speaking. one person hung up on me after waiting 10 minutes i said hello, and then click.

ok so here we go

jan - had sex
feb - got a sore
march - got tested

march results
rpr screen - reactive
syphilis total w reflex - reactive

i know this means i had syphilis at that point. but i do not understand the difference between what a rpr test does, and what a syphilis total w reflex does?

when i google search them, it seems both tests search for antibodies?

and so thats why they said retest in 6 months. but that concerned me waiting so long because you can have antibodies for life. so i could wait 6 months avoiding women and still test reactive essentially. as this happened they gave me 2 weeks of 500mg doxycycline.

i took the 2 weeks of doxy, and a week after i had a dermatologist appointment. while there i asked if i could get rechecked. i said im aware that the test may put out a false positive because of antibodies (i think). but will it put out a false negative? she said good question, i suppose we can test again and see what comes up.

so we tested again and this was the results

syphilis total w reflex - reactive
treponema pallidum ab, igg - positive
RPR - Non reactive

after that i had a dr appointment for a allergy shot so i then asked again to explain my results. they basically didnt tell me anything but keep retesting and said i took so much doxy it should be gone. the dermatologist said i was on the right path. this sounds good, but im  being over cautious because not just because i want sex, but most importantly i dont want to give this to anyone.

i do not understand what those 3 tests look for. sinc my RPR is negative am i cured? and the syphilis w reflex and the treponema pallidum ab, igg going to just be  reactive and positive possibly for life?

do the second 2 tests being positive mean that i have the antibodies so i "had" syphilis. and the RPR test is the icebreaker that tells me if i "have" it currently?

i know thats alot but im trying to be specific as possible. this has been driving me insane since february. the fact you have to wait 6 months for a retest that can come back as false positive in todays medicine and just not know for sure if you still have it and not have a more simple answer is a bit mind blowing. the way they make it seem is dont have sex for 6 months, get tested (but they dont tell you it will prob be false positive or reactive still) test in another 6 months. and before you know it you havent had sex in 2 years and youve been locked in your room writing on the walls lol

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Avatar universal
The syphilis antigen with reflex is the first test done. It’s an antibody test that sees if you have antibodies to syphils this can be false positive or an old infection so the lab if the reflex is positive will run a RPR to confirm.

In this case it actually looks like you Don’t have syphilis at this moment in time with the RPR been negative.
Helpful - 3
207091 tn?1337709493
I agree - did they give you your actual RPR results? It's a number, like 1:64, 1:256 - it's always 1:something.

Treatment is considered successful when the second number drops fourfold, like a 1:64 would drop to 1:16.

The treponema pallidum ab might be positive for awhile. For some, it never goes back to negative.

The syphilis total w reflex may always be positive, as well.

https://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/path_handbook/handbook/test3487.html - This is just one lab's instructions, but they have one of the better explanations of syphilis testing that I've seen. Read the paragraph under Interpretive Data.

Helpful - 2
hi thanks, for my original test it was 1:2 for the titer, but they didnt give me a ratio for the second time. i think because the second one they just did minimal tests because it was so close together.  my original titer was prob so low of a ratio because as soon as i noticed a sore i got treatment within a month im guessing. but both of these posts make me feel a bit more at ease so thank you
Oh a 1:2 - the only places that can go is 1:1 or negative, so it went negative. Did they mention a follow up test in 3 or 6 months? Make sure to do that.

Hang in there, you'll be fine. :)
thank you =) yes retest in 6 months. they pretty much didnt explain anything to me correctly. i begged them for a rpr test after i was done with the pills. the other drs said wait 6 months because the other test would still test positive from antibodies. so when i did my own research i found out i could test positive for antibodies the rest of my life, i dont know why they dont suggest the rpr a month later, and then a full retest 6 months later. because like i was saying to them is how do i know if the pills didnt work and i wait 6 months and it advances to stage 2 in the meantime. so the dermatologist took mercy on me and agreed with me and gave me the rpr i mentioned above. i have extremely high anxiety so there is no way i could go 6 months just wondering. also i rarely have chances to be sexual, with my anxiety its hard to meet people. so if i do get a chance to be around someone its not easy to say hey i gotta wait 6 months for a std test and then brush them off. at that point theyll most likely never talk to me again and then tell everyone lol. so then instead of telling them that i would instead prob just ignore them and not even be near them. ive learned more from these few replies on here then all of my drs and the cdc hotline combined.
Okay, you mention the CDC hotline, so you're likely in the US. You can get a syphilis test on your own (you'll have to self-pay) and track your own progress.



Don't go overboard, though.

And use condoms. They don't offer 100% protection against syphilis, but they do offer significant protection.  :)

And we're glad to help.
thank you for the links. i usually do wear them but i just turned 40, met another 40 yr old who just got out of a marriage. she said she was allergic to condoms but was tested when she got divorced. so i took the risk and just went with trust for the first time. i knew it was a risk though. i figured maybe us being older and her being commited the majority of her life the risk would be more minimal. i was wrong and turned out she had it for a extemely long time and didnt know until i asked her to get tested and show me the results.
Wow, that's a really unlucky scenario. Neither of you fit the higher risk profile.

I hope you're doing well. :)
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