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Syphilis reinfection?
Aug 8, 2012

About a year ago I was diagnosed with neuro syphilis, and I spent two weeks in the hospital getting a penicillin drip. At the time my titer was about 500. I was also diagnosed with having AIDS at that time. After getting out of the hospital I was in denial and didn't start treatment with medication until a year later. My CD4 count was 12, and my viral load was 450,000. I also tested positive for syphylis again with my titer being 100. Is it likely that I got infected again (even though I didn't have the same partners), or has it not decreased further because my immune system was so weak? Just to be on the safe side, the doctor suggested I get a penicillin shot in my butt once a week for three weeks - to which I had no response. Getting Syphillis once was bad enough, getting it twice (possibly) was horrible. Is it likely that I got reinfected? Or the numbers just haven't gone down fast enough?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Positives are at greater risk of having poor response to syphilis treatment and/or recurrence. It's also possible that you could have been reinfected. Unfortunately, the current tests don't discriminate between all of these possibilities, but what is clear that especially with a history of neurosyphilis, that monitoring of your RPR titers is important.

Hope that helps, BY



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