Syphilis is an STD that can result in serious health complications if left untreated. It is a multistage disease with different symptoms associated with each stage. Take this at-home STD test to find out if you may need treatment for syphilis.
Prevent the complications of syphilis. Get tested today.
Syphilis can affect both men and women, with the most at-risk populations being men who have sex with men, and HIV-positive people. Transmission occurs when direct contact is made with a syphilitic sore through kissing, vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Pregnant women with syphilis can transmit the disease to their infant during pregnancy. Syphilis increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death shortly after delivery. Infected infants must be treated immediately to prevent developmental delays, seizures, and other fatal complications.
Treatment is effective for curing a current infection, but does not prevent a reinfection. There are no effective vaccines available for syphilis.
Why consider this test?
The CDC recommends syphilis testing for:
- Anyone showing symptoms that are suggestive of syphilis
- All individuals with an oral, anal, or vaginal sexual partner with a recent syphilis diagnosis
- All pregnant women
- Sexually active HIV-positive individuals (routine testing)
- Sexually active men who have sex with men (routine testing)
Syphilis may be detected as early as 1-2 weeks post-exposure. However, it may not be detected for up to 3 months in some individuals.
Symptoms of syphilis
Syphilis has been dubbed “The Great Pretender” as symptoms can resemble other diseases. Syphilis infections have four distinct stages – primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary.
The primary stage is marked by the appearance of one or more skin lesions (chancres) where the bacteria entered the body (genitals, rectum, or mouth). Chancres are generally painless and last 3 to 6 weeks. If untreated, the infection progresses to the secondary stage.
Skin rashes of varying appearance are common in the secondary stage. Other symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, headaches, and fever. If untreated, the infection progresses to the latent stage.
Latent (hidden) stage
There are no symptoms associated with the latent stage. However, the infection still persists in the body, and individuals are still infectious particularly in the early latent stage (within 2 years of original infection). The latent stage can last for many years.
Tertiary syphilis develops in 15-40% of untreated individuals. Multiple different organ systems can be affected including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, liver, bones, and joints. The associated symptoms vary depending on the affected body parts.
What’s included in this test?
Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. Syphilitic sores, called chancres, are usually the first sign of a syphilis infection.
Syphilis diagnosis is by two types of laboratory analyses of a blood sample – nontreponemal and treponemal assays.
This Syphilis Test is a treponemal assay, which detects antibodies to recombinant antigens representing TpN15, TpN17, and TpN47 of the T. pallidum genome. This test will identify both current and past, resolved infections. Additional testing with a nontreponemal assay should be conducted on all samples that are reactive in this treponemal Syphilis Test.
How It Works
Order your test
Choose the test that matches your need from our large array of tests. The kit will be delivered to your doorstep. There is no need to leave the comfort of your home.
Collect your sample
Register and activate your test. Collect your sample first thing in the morning. Return your sample to our lab as soon as possible, using the prepaid envelope included in the kit.
Your sample will be tested as soon as it arrives in our lab. Your results will be available through our secure online platform.
Use TherizonConnect to view your test results quickly and easily
The results are only available through TherizonConnect, a free, secure patient portal that you can access on your smartphone, tablet, or desktop. You can also share your results with your doctor, family, or friends.
How does the Syphilis Test work?
A blood sample is self-collected following the detailed instructions included in the kit, and mailed back to the lab using the prepaid envelope inside the kit. Upon receipt at the laboratory, the blood sample is analyzed by a fully automated chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) to detect antibodies against syphilis. This is a treponemal assay. Additional testing with a nontreponemal assay is required for confirmation of a positive result.
How is syphilis treated?
Benzathine penicillin G is used to treat syphilis. A single intramuscular dose is required for individuals in the primary, secondary, and early latent stages, while three doses are required in the late latent stage. Treatment cures the disease and prevent transmission, but does not prevent reinfection or repair tissue damage. There is currently no effective vaccine available for syphilis
How can I reduce the risk of syphilis?
Avoiding vaginal, rectal or oral sex is the only sure-fire way to prevent STDs. If you are sexually active, male condoms when used properly, reduce the risk of getting or giving syphilis. However, if the condom does not cover a syphilis chancre, transmission can still occur during sexual contact.
Can I get syphilis again?
Yes. Although antibiotic treatment is effective for the current syphilis infection, it does not prevent future infections through exposure to an infected individual.
At what stages is syphilis contagious?
Syphilis is highly contagious during the primary and secondary stages of infection. Individuals in the early part of the latent stage are still contagious, particularly as relapses into the secondary stage occur in around 25% of infected individuals. When relapses no longer occur, a person is not contagious through contact. However, infected pregnant women in the latent stage are still at increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death shortly after delivery, and passing syphilis to the baby (congenital syphilis).
Who is at risk of syphilis?
The syphilis-causing bacterium is able to pass through intact mucous membranes or compromised skin, and is primarily transmitted during sexual contact, or during pregnancy or childbirth from an infected mother to her infant. Transmission can occur by kissing near a chancre, and through oral, vaginal, and anal sex. The majority of cases in the United States occur in men who have sex with men. Other populations with increased risk include HIV-positive individuals, sex workers, and those who have been incarcerated.