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Syphilis Tests

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Also known as: Venereal Disease Research Laboratory; VDRL; Rapid Plasma Reagin; RPR; Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption Test; FTA-ABS; Treponema pallidum Particle Agglutination Assay; TPPA; Microhemagglutination Assay; MHA-TP; Darkfield Microscopy; Automated Immunoassays for Syphilis Antibodies; Treponema pallidum by PCR
Formal name: Syphilis Detection Tests

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To screen for or diagnose an infection with the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD)

When to Get Tested?

When you have symptoms of a syphilis infection; when you are at risk of being exposed to syphilis, such as when you have another STD or HIV infection, are a man who has sex with men, have a sexual partner diagnosed with syphilis, or have engaged in high-risk sexual activity; when you are pregnant

Sample Required?

Most often, a blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm; sometimes, a scraping from a chancre in the affected area; less commonly, cerebrospinal fluid taken via a spinal tap, depending on your clinical presentation

Test Preparation Needed?

None