How does a syphilis test work? Let’s run through everything you need to know about the process including when you should consider taking a syphilis test, the symptoms to look out for and the treatments to consider.
Syphilis is a bacterial STD that can affect both men and women, it is caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. Syphilis is contracted through intimate skin-to-skin contact with an infected partner.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were more than 115,000 syphilis cases in 2018, and that number is set to continue growing. The number of primary and secondary syphilis cases – the most infectious stages of syphilis – increased 14 percent to more than 35,000 cases in that same year, the highest number reported since 1991. Among newborns, syphilis cases increased 40 percent to more than 1,300 cases.
A syphilis test usually comes in the form of a blood test.
This blood test can either be performed using an at home STD test, or you can visit your doctor to perform the test.
Syphilis tests are quite quick and simple. If you are taking an at home syphilis test, you simply:
If you are undergoing syphilis screening in a doctor’s office, you simply:
If you are undergoing primary syphilis screening, there is nothing that you need to do ahead of your appointment to prepare.
As outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two main types of blood test for syphilis.
Nontreponemal tests detect biomarkers that are released by the cells that have been damaged by syphilis. These tests are more affordable and typically used for screening, but they have lower sensitivity during early primary syphilis and late-stage syphilis. Nontreponemal tests have a higher chance of producing false negative and false positive results.
Treponemal tests, on the other hand, detect antibodies specific to the Treponema bacteria. Treponemal antibodies appear earlier than nontreponemal antibodies and usually remain detectable for life, even after successful treatment. If a treponemal test is used for screening and the results are positive, a nontreponemal test with titer may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and guide your treatment. Based on the results, further testing may be required. Both types of tests are routinely used to confirm syphilis diagnoses.
So, who should get tested for syphilis?
You should get tested for syphilis if:
You can get an at home syphilis test from the following providers:
For a STD test price where we compare the market so you can get the most cost effective option.
The symptoms of syphilis can be difficult to notice and can change subtly over time. Syphilis symptoms usually take 2-3 weeks to develop. There are four stages of syphilis including:
Primary syphilis symptoms
Secondary syphilis symptoms
Latent syphilis symptoms
Tertiary syphilis symptoms
What happens if syphilis goes untreated?
Untreated syphilis can lead to serious health complications such as damage to the brain and nervous system (neurosyphilis) or to the eye (ocular syphilis). These health complications usually occur 10-30 years after primary infection.
Symptoms of neurosyphilis include
Is syphilis contagious?
Syphilis is highly contagious, therefore if you notice a chancre, you should get tested as soon as possible.
Can you get syphilis twice?
You can get syphilis twice, even if you have been treated for syphilis, you can contract syphilis again through unprotected sex with an infected partner.
When should I get tested?
You should get tested if you are experiencing any symptoms of syphilis or if you have been notified that a previous sexual partner has syphilis.
Other reasons to take a syphilis test include:
Written by Hannah Kingston on February 22, 2021
Syphilis - Everything you need to know- stdwatch.com/std-tests/syphilis-testing-everything-you-need-to-know
New CDC Report: STDs Continue to Rise in the U.S- cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2019/2018-STD-surveillance-report-press-release.html
5 Best At-Home STD Test Kits in 2021 - stdwatch.com
Syphilis - CDC Fact Sheet (Detailed) - cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis-detailed.htm#:~:text=There%20are%20two%20types%20of,are%20often%20used%20for%20screening
LetsGetChecked - letsgetchecked.com/us/en/home-syphilis-test/
Everlywell - everlywell.com/products/syphilis-test/
myLab Box- mylabbox.com/product/syphilis-home-test-kit/
Health Testing Centers - healthtestingcenters.com/test/syphilis/
STD test price | How much do STD tests cost? - stdwatch.com/learn/std-test-price-how-much-do-std-tests-cost
Syphilis - CDC Fact Sheet - cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm
Syphilis - my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4622-syphilis
Syphilis Symptoms & Treatment - .avert.org/sex-stis/sexually-transmitted-infections/syphilis