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Q. Though I had treatment for syphilis, why does my result remain reactive?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 29, 2017 and last reviewed on: Aug 05, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am a 37 year old married female. Five years ago, I got a job offer in abroad. When I had a medical checkup, I was found to be positive for VDRL and TPHA reactive. But, my husband's result was nonreactive. I took medicine as advised by my doctor. Now, when I went for a checkup, again the result came as reactive. I am much worried. I never went wrong with any person. Why am I getting the result as reactive?

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Firstly, VDRL (venereal research laboratory test) test usually becomes negative after successful treatment.
  • However, TPHA - Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay will remain positive throughout life. Positive TPHA just indicates that you have developed antibodies and immunity against syphilis. It does not indicate infection.
  • However, if VDRL is still positive, then you need to get retreated with injection Benzathine penicillin 2.4 million units single intramuscular dose after testing from the local doctor.
  • Testing for titers of VDRL is important. It is possible that titers have fallen significantly and it is positive in very low level. If such is the case, then no treatment is needed.
  • It is recommended that the patients with positive syphilis should also get other viral tests like HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen), Anti-HCV (hepatitis C virus antigen) and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician


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