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Confused over syphillis results. Please help!
Recently, I had my STD panel done. Everything was negative, but there was some confusion on the syphillis results.

The RPR test done was negative.
However, my provider also ordered the FTA-ABS test (maybe because I'm gay?), which came back minimally reactive (not even positive). Therefore, she said she wasn't sure what to do now either, but recommended a dose of penicillin.

I am scheduled to get the penicillin next week. However, I am concerned as I really don't think that I have syphillis.
Online, a minimally reactive FTA-ABS is considered equivocal, and the RPR indicated no syphillis.
I don't want to get antibiotics for no reason; and more importantly, I want to know that I'm clean.

Can anyone please provide any insights? Thank you!
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Avatar universal
please help! thank you
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Not 100% on syphilis but I would retest with a VDRL before medication.
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I see. thank you! I'm trying to get another treponemal test to diagnose accurately (TPPA). For syphillis, waiting a few weeks shouldn't make a huge difference though, right? Thanks again!
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101028 tn?1419606604
I think your provider is erring on the side of caution by wanting to give you the one shot of penicillin.

how long after you last had sex did you have your rpr done?

grace
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I've waited for 8 weeks of total abstinence for my STD panel.
Everything else (Gono, Chla, HIV rapid oral) all came back negative.

But now that I might have syphillis, I'm really worried about HIV as well (but I heard 8 weeks is pretty conclusive? Could syphilis delay HIV seroconversion?)..

Thank you, Grace.
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101028 tn?1419606604
depends on the hiv test how conclusive it is at 8 weeks but most of the ones being offered nowadays are. if you have any questions about the hiv testing you had done, post them in the hiv forum.  

are you going to cover your herpes testing base at 12 weeks or later post encounter?   being gay it's really important to get tested for herpes regularly too.

you waited enough time to test for syphilis. really no reason to think that you have syphilis and most providers wouldn't even treat you for it since you are testing negative consistently.  also no worries about waiting a few more weeks if you really do have syphilis. it's the waiting years stuff that is harmful, not weeks.
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101028 tn?1419606604
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101028 tn?1419606604
also have you had your gardasil shots for hpv too?
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I did the oral swab rapid HIV test (OraSure?) at 8 weeks after my last exposure.

I'm currently 22, and have been safe (except oral) and tested regularly. Per your response, I think my plan is to wait to get tested again in mid-December, and then decide on the plan after that if I do have syphilis. That would be okay right?

I've actually never been tested for herpes, none of my providers recommended me getting it....Should I request for it?

I just had my 2nd dose of gardasil last week, and will be completing it next March. Also got vaccinated for HepA.

Thank you so much, Grace. This has been really stressful for me...
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101028 tn?1419606604
yes you should request herpes igg blood testing regularly. the rates of hsv1 and hsv2 infections in gay males are high in general and having hsv2 increases your risk of hiv so it's important to keep an eye on your status.  

glad you are getting your gardasil shot series too!!!
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