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INCUBATION PERIOD OF SYPHILIS
Feb 3, 2002

i WAS EXPOSED 6 WEEKS AGO AND contracted gonorhea and took antibiotics until the pus cell in my urine was 0-2hpf. now i went to a laboratory and ask to test me for syphilis. they conduct a test called vdrl-quantitative. the doctor told me that syphilis has a long incubation period. that even if this test test result is non-reactive, i would never be sure that i dont have syphilis. doctor, is quantitative VDRL THE RIGTH TEST FOR SYPHILIS? IS THE DOCTOR RIGHT THAT IT TAKES YEARS TO DETECT SYPHILIS AND THAT THE TEST I TOOK WOULD NOT BE CONCLUSIVE?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

If you got syphilis 6 weeks ago when you got gonorrhea, it is not true that the blood test for syphilis would take years to be positive-- it should be positive now. The screening test used in the U.S. for syphilis is the RPR (rapid reagin test), although the VDRL (Veneral Disease Research Laboratory test) should also detect syphilis at 6 weeks. There is another test, the FTA-abs (fluorescent treponemal antibody-absorbed test), which will be positive if you EVER, at any time, had syphilis.


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