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Is syphilis contagious?

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Posted on Mon, 14 Dec 2015
Question: Good day,

In 2013 I tested positive for syphilis with a RPR titer of 1:1. I believe I contracted this infection from a one night stand with a woman I met online. I was treated with a pencillin shot but did not tell my wife because her and I didn't have sex after my encounter. Two weeks after treatment my wife and I engaged in unprotected sex. I went back to be retested to make sure i hadnt given my wife anything and I tested pos again with the same 1:1 titer range. I had to tell my wife for her protection but suprise she tested negative. I however was given 3 weekly shots to resolve my infection. Fast forward to this yr , two yrs later. i decided to be rested and everything else came up negative except the syphilis test. Once again i tested pos for syphilis witb the same 1:1 from two yrs ago and was given another shot. two weeks after that treatment i am still pos with the same titer. My doctor said it may be serofast..i think i spelled it right and wait another four months for retesting. My wife is still negative. My concern is for her. Can I infect her my having unprotected sex?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (25 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Can have unprotected sex

Detailed Answer:
Hello

Thanks for the query

RPR is considered positive when the titres are more than 1:8, along with that there must be a positive history, symptoms and signs. Based on the lab test alone the diagnosis of syphilis is not made. I suggest you take
fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption which is more sensitive than RPR test.

I hope I was of help, if you have any further queries please get back to me

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (1 hour later)
Thanks for the fast response. Should I ask for the test you recommended now or when I retest at the four month mark? This is so confusing.....my main concern is not giving this infection to my wife.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Ask for the test now

Detailed Answer:
Hello

I understand your concern, go ahead and ask for the test now. You don't have to wait for 4 months, once it's clear you can have unprotected intercource

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (40 hours later)
Ok now I am really confused.....I am going to ask for the test but you gave two different answers.
First response said I should be Ok with unprotected sex since I had been treated but your second response said wait until after the test.

Her past two test came up negative.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (9 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Sorry for the confusion

Detailed Answer:
Hello

I am sorry for the confusion, what I mean to say was if I were to be your doctor I wouldnt worry about a 1:1 tire as 1:8 titre is considered as significant. Besides you have already been treated for it.
What I meant was if you want to be very sure then it is always better to get a more sensitive and reliable test that is fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test

I hope I was able to sort out the issue

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (13 hours later)
Thanks....
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha (24 hours later)
Brief Answer:
regards

Detailed Answer:
Hello

I wish you good health.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha

Nephrologist

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 4364 Questions

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Is syphilis contagious?

Brief Answer: Can have unprotected sex Detailed Answer: Hello Thanks for the query RPR is considered positive when the titres are more than 1:8, along with that there must be a positive history, symptoms and signs. Based on the lab test alone the diagnosis of syphilis is not made. I suggest you take fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption which is more sensitive than RPR test. I hope I was of help, if you have any further queries please get back to me Regards