4 months ago I developed pimple like spots on my groin, and on the palms of my hands. W/in a couple weeks the ones on my groin disapeared and the ones on my palms and soles of my feet developed into flakey red almost hard spots (not itchy). I went, and had an rpr test for syphilis which came back negative. I was told to go to a dermatologist and in another month I went. By this time I started getting spots all over my body. Not pimple like - but patches of red (not raised) all over my body - particularly visible when I get out of the shower. I also developed a sore on my tongue, and in my nostrils. They tested me again for syphilis (rpr) and it came back a high positive. (don't really know exactly the count). I was treated with a big shot of penicillin and was told I would probably get sick and it would be a sign that it was working. 4 days have passed and there has been no improvement, naseua, or anything except a sore bum. Now, I am a gay male, but "married" (we've both been monogomous for sure) for 3 years. He has NO symptoms. I have my primary physician stumped. I can say that prior to all of this I had a couple ringworm like rashes on my inner thigh. I thought perhaps it was pityriasis rosea but the dermatologist said no. Overall, this is a nightmare. I work with kids, and to have this on my palms is the worst! Is it possible it is spyhilis and I won't get sick or even close to it? What else could it be? Would some kind of steriods be a good option?
You have syphilis sounding symptoms, and you had a positive test. The tests are pretty specific, meaning that false positives are unlikely. Your first test was probably negative due to it being a more recent infection. I'm not sure why they didn't follow up your first positive test with a FTA-ABS to make sure it was not a false positive. The good thing is, since FTA-ABS will remain positive for life, you can still take this test and if it's positive, you can be sure you had syphilis. If it were me, that's what I would do. I'd also have my partner tested.
I know this is a little late, but you probably know by now that you don't have the Syph. The RPR test is a horrible, horrible screening test for syphilis because it is horribly inaccurate. Realistically speaking, only 2% of those that are RPR-positive will test positive in the FTA-ABS. It doesn't test for antibodies against anything related to the bacteria that causes Syph. It does, however, test for antibodies against a lipoprotein in your cardiac tissue. If this hasn't resolved, ask your doctor about a tetracycline regimen for the possible staph/strep infection you might have.
I recently had labs done which indicated that I had rpr react 1:4, which I cannot believe I have siph as I am not sexually active..for MANY years now...if this is the case, is it often that a false read comes from this test??
Did they do a confirmatory test? They should - insist on it.
If that comes back positive, its likely that you've had this for a long time, and didn't know it. You should be treated with a penicillin shot once a week for 3 weeks, and then get a follow up test in 3 months.
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