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Took treatment for syphilis. When should I check it again?

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HIV AIDS Specialist
Practicing since : 1974
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i am a tpha postive but i take my treatment for 3 weeks and i like to ask if i under go the TPHA blood test again do i get non reactive result
Posted Tue, 12 Mar 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 36 minutes later

Welcome to XXXXXXX
Thanks for posting your query.

TPHA is a specific test for Syphilis, a STD. Once TPHA positive means it will linger positive for ever in most individuals even after the full course of anti-syphilitic treatment. It doesn't mean that the disease activity is persisting. It is called as serological scar or sero-fast. Further treatment is not required.

Non specific tests like VDRL or RPR results and the titre of the same indicate the disease activity, and response to treatment. If the titre after treatment comes down or becomes non reactive after 6 months to one year then there is no point to worry.

TPHA is a confirmatory test and is not indicative of prognosis or a test for cure.

So go for RPR test 3 months after completion of course and then successively follow up till it becomes nonreactive and not opt for TPHA.
Good luck to you.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Took treatment for syphilis. When should I check it again? 44 minutes later
ty for the info last yer i under go medical check up to work abord and my blood test show my VDRL is non reactive and my TPHA is reactive is there a hope after 1 year i can work abrod and get non reactive result for TPHA
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 6 hours later

Welcome back with your follow up question and pleased to answer the same.

VDRL is nonreactive and TPHA is reactive means that you are not having active Syphilis.

VDRL may sometimes may show nonreactive result in case of secondary syphilis due excess of antibodies and it is called as Prozone phenomena. So you have to instruct your laboratory technician to rule out the same and confirm the non-reactivity.

Regarding the TPHA if due to some technical error, the test is expressed as reactive then repeating in a reputable lab will eliminate this possibility. But confirmed reactive TPHA test will not become nonreactive even after years. I am very sorry to say it is unfortunate for you that it is quite unlikely to get the TPHA become nonreactive after a year. The immigration people in some country will not understand the reality and they will not change their stand in allowing the TPHA positive and treated individuals to their country.
Wish you good luck.
Dr S.Murugan

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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