Will my syphillis titer go down?
Oct 5, 2013
2 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with neuro-syphillis. My titer at the time was 1:500. I spent two weeks in the hospital getting penicillin via IV. My titer dropped to 1:100. I started HIV treatment about a year ago, and the doctor was "sure" I had syphillis again - and I got a penicillin shot every week for 3 weeks. My titer didn't move at all. A few months ago, I moved to another state and my new doctor was convinced I had syphillis again because she had never seen such a high titer - still at 1:100. I had to get some more blood work done a few weeks ago (with a different doctor) who thought I had syphillis again. Each time the doctor reported me to the health department. I am getting seriously frustrated at having such a high titer. Will it ever go down? My CD count has been stuck around 200 for the past year, so probably a reason for the lack of improvement. My titer has not changed in 2 1/2 years. Will it ever?
Response from Dr. Holodniy
These numbers are different than what I am used to seeing, which is titers that are factors of 2 (i.e., 1:4, 1:32, etc). The titers of 1:500 or 1:100 are not how RPR titers are conventionally expressed. That said, if you have been treated repeatedly, and without new exposure, you have likely had enough treatment, unless there are symptoms that suggest ongoing active disease. Most people will have positive tests for months to years after successful treatment.
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