Syphilis Concerns

Question

Ten years ago I was given a syphilis test that I was told return a false positive. When I questioned the doctor further he said, trust me you don't have syphilis. The only sexual encounter that I was ever concerned about STDs was when I was 17, I am 46 now. I was checked for STDs every 18 months when I wasn't being monogamous but suspect that I was not being check for syphilis at all until that test 10 years ago. About five years ago, another test, I again was told that I had a false positive but to be safe I was given three doses of Penicillin. Last week, as part of a work up for a new issue, frequent urge to urinate and a clear discharge from my penis, I was told that I was positive for syphilis with a low titers of 1:4. This doctor said that it was possible that I had syphilis for a long time and that I should be aware of any other symptoms of Neurolsyphilis. He did not think I should be retreated but I am now thinking that a CSF test would be good to do. Even if it is just to put my mind at ease. It seems each Docs interpretation has been progressively more concerning. So the questions is, should I ask to get a CSF test and is there any way that these recent symptoms are related to syphilis or Neurosyphilis?

Answer

It's hard to know what these tests results mean without knowing what tests have actually been performed. I suggest you consult with an infectious diseases physician to interpret all the test results to this point and to determine whether a lumbar puncture to obtain spinal fluid is necessary.