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infected with syphilis with out having sex
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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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infected with syphilis with out having sex

My questions for the Doctor is can you become infected with syphilis with out having sex. Was with a woman who did proceed to be naked next to me there was no touching directly of genitals and I was clothed We did have contact of skin but no mutual or genital touching, she did sit on my lap naked. My hand might have brushed up against her genitals once. We did French kiss for awhile

Around 11 days later on my pubic area, not on penis a skin rash developed a raised bump appeared not open sore about the size of a dime it was noticed during a physical exam by a Doctor hidden under pubic hair. The doctor was unaware of the above mentioned incident.  Was hard somewhat round never an ulcer, encompassed three or four hair follicles The sore never became ulcer like did go down in size after about four weeks and left a discolored area brown scar like.

I have notice five weeks later a rash red like on stomach and chest, now I do live in a heavy poison oak area I didn’t direct touch this woman in her pubic area but was exposed through clothes and maybe a skin on hand contact brush above vagina. Could you contact syphilis this way if her body had a secondary rash? Do all syphilis ulcers ooze the clear fluid, as the bump in my pubic area never did it was in a very hairy area towards the stomach around 2 inches up from penis

Doctor is there reason for concern is syphilis contacted without sex or hand to genital repeated contact.  We did French kiss and she was unclothed but I wasn’t. Could I have had finger contact with a syphilis sore then infected myself later by scratching or going to the bathroom or off my clothes Do you see any reason for testing and does it seem I might just be very paranoid

Thanks .  

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Welcome to the Forum.  The answer is, that yes, at least IN THEORY, syphilis can be transmitted without sexual intercourse.  Syphilis is transmitted when there is direct contact between the sore on an infected person and an uninfected person.  It is thought that the friction of sex helps to introduce the bacteria to cause infection.

Having answered your "is it possible" question, let me now elaborate to tell you why the lesion you saw was almost certainly NOT syphilis.  Syphilis is not passed through clothing or from a lesion to another person on someone's hand.  Furthermore, it is a fragile organism which does not live long enough to be transmitted through the contact you describe.  You state that the area where your sore appeared was covered throughout you interaction with this woman. That assures you that the lesion that you describe was not syphilis.  The lesion that you describe, both by location and your description was likely a folliculitis lesion which did not progress to form pimples or, as per your suggestion, might have been poison oak or some other skin condition.

I am confident that you do not have syphilis and see no need for testing.  If my reassurance is insufficient however, I suggest you go to a local STD clinic and get a syphilis blood test.  If the lesion you describe was syphilis, I can assure you, your blood test would be positive at this time.

Hope these comments are helpful to you.  EWH
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Thank you for your answer Doctor I was wondering if you could explain what the first stage syphilis lesion looks like. Is it always an open sore that oozes the bacteria, from what I have read and seen in pictures it often looks like a crater? Can it manifest as just a hard sore red in color with no crater or oozing

Thank you for you forums and quick responses, your service is invaluable to many of us who read the information regularly

  


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Yes, primary syphilis lesions (called chancres) appear as open sores.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
How accurate is the Rapid Plasma Reagin, Nontreponemal test, RPR, Syphilis serology done at 6 and a half weeks in detecting syphilis with or without outward signs of infection?  Is 6 and a half weeks long enough time to detect the bacteria. Is 10 days of doxycycline 200 mg a day adequate to kill the bacteria?

thank you
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300980_tn?1194933000
You are having trouble letting go of the idea that you have syphilis and it appears that my answers only fuel your concerns.  This will be the last answer.

The RPR a 6.5 weeks is highly accurate for syphilis, once again indicating that you do not have syphilis.

Doxycycline for syphilis treatment is recommended at a dose of 100mg twice daily for 14 days.

End of discussion.  EWH
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Dr Hook

I never doubted any information you gave here and have appreciated how you have helped educate so many of us who were raise uninformed about stds. I am new to the dating scene after losing my wife of thirty five years last year to cancer. I have taken to heart all you have said but have been somewhat fascinated by the bacteria that cause syphilis. There is so much misinformation online about the transmission of stds that many are misinformed about transmission and course of treatment. You offer many here the ability to separate fact from fiction, and old wives tales many of us were told as children. I must admit I have tried to research how doxycline stops the reproduction of the bacteria by inhibiting certain proteins, unfortunately I am an engineer and always trying to understand things, thank you for you education and your patience.


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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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