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late latent syphilis
Nov 23, 2011

I was recently tested for syphilis after being exposed to a partner who tested positive for syphilis, but in the latent stage. My blood tests were evaluated and the doctor diagnosed me as having"late latent syphilis". I asked for my test results and they said the RPR was non reactive with no titer, but a tereponenial AB EIA test was reactive suggesting I was infected more than a year ago. I had never been diagnosed or treated previously. I then received 3 sets of penicillin. My question is that if I was infected over a year ago and never treated shouldn't my RPR still be reactive? I have to be tested again in 6 months and it is my understanding that the results will be the same. RPR will be non reactive and terepnenial AB EIA will be reactive as once infected this will always be reactive. Do you understand my confusion? Did my body clear the infection by itself? As I said I was never treated before.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

In the early or late stages of syphilis, RPR blood-screening tests can produce false-negative results. This is usually because your body does not always produce antibodies in response to syphilis. There have also been documented cases of syphilis where there was so much antibody present in a patient's blood that the RPR test was non-reactive.

Your body did not clear the infection, but the Penicillin shots will take care of it.

I hope this helps.

In health, Richard



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