STDs Expert Forum
RPR/TPPA testing
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Avatar universal
RPR/TPPA testing
DR. H.  Please confirm my understanding on the RPR and TPPA testing process. My boyfriend tested false positive for RPR (he has in the past as well, due to complications from a childhood disease - mono), but tested negative to TPPA as in previous experiences.  Does this confirm that he does not have syphilis?  Do I need to get tested to reconfirm? I only ask since I have experienced symptoms which may be identified as syphilis ie.  mouth sores, sore throat, small areas of discoloration on my arms that look like razor burns (but disappeared in about two days).   I have not been with anyone else. His titer to the false positive on the RPR was 1:2, which in itself is borderline for negative, as negative is based on < 1:1.  Please advise.  Thank you
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239123 tn?1267651214
Your partner is home free.  You can be confident he doesn't have syphilis.  And your symptoms don't sound much like syphilis, actually.  Of course see a health care provider if they persist.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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Avatar universal
I am not an expert by any means, but it is my understanding that a TPPA test does not have many false negatives.  It does have some amount of false positives.  Furthermore, the TPPA generally stays positive even after treatment.

My assumption is that a positive RPR and a negative TPPA means that the true result is negative.
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Avatar universal
The reason why I was concerned is somewhere on this thread you had mentioned false negative "prozone", I beleive.  Does this only apply to RPR? What else can cause sore throat with white patches, mouth sores and general feeling of malady?  Also, these spontaneous rash-like skin condition is troublesome.  I have been losing weight also.  Please advise. Thank you
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239123 tn?1267651214
There is no prozone for TPPA; a negative is a negative.

There are hundreds of things that cause rash and the other symtpoms you describe for your partner, and for your weight loss, that are more common than syphilis.  I can't even guess.  But it definitely isn't syphilis.  See a health care provider.

HHH, MD

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Avatar universal
Thank you for your comment and expert opinion.  I will see my Dr. if the symptoms presists.
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Avatar universal
A related discussion, VDRL Reactive / TPPA indeterminate was started.
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