According to the survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the year September 2018, men having sex with men account for the majority cases of Syphilis infection in the United States. So we highly recommend men having sex with men to get tested for Syphilis infection at least once in every three months. We also recommend other sexually active people to get tested as well.
The article below covers all the relevant topics of Syphilis infection like Syphilis test cost, symptoms, treatment, different stages of syphilis, prevention and how to get tested for Syphilis infection sitting at home.
For our readers who are more interested in knowing the Syphilis test cost beforehand, we begin with that section.
How much does the Syphilis test cost?
Syphilis test cost ranges between $69 and $79 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. To view and compare the prices in different labs offered by different providers, click the button below.
Testing for Syphilis infection is a three-step process.
1. RPR Test: RPR stands for the Rapid Plasma Reagin test. This test looks for the antibodies that fight against the Syphilis bacterium in the body. The test result may be positive or negative.
2. TPA Test: TPA stands for the Treponemal Pallidum Assay test. This test is done when the RPR test results are positive, to confirm the presence of Syphilis bacterium in the body.
The above-mentioned tests are Syphilis screening tests.
3. Advanced Tests: When the TPA test results are also positive, your physician might recommend some advanced tests to know the exact stage of Syphilis infection.
Syphilis test cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. do not cover the Syphilis screening test cost. They might cover only the cost of the advanced tests performed. However, this also depends on your insurance plan.
Our STD testing providers do not accept any health insurance. But, they can provide you with a receipt containing all the details like the test name and code, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is Syphilis and how is it transmitted?
Syphilis is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium called Treponema pallidum. It can cause severe health problems if it is not diagnosed and treated at the right time. People infected with Syphilis are more vulnerable to HIV infection.
Syphilis is spread primarily through vaginal, anal or oral sex. Sometimes, it can also be passed on through prolonged kissing and close body contact. However, this infection cannot be spread through toilet seats, swimming pools, sharing clothes, bathtubs, and eating utensils. Pregnant women with syphilis infection can easily spread it to their baby which is called Congenital Syphilis. Congenital Syphilis can cause severe abnormalities or even death to the baby.
What are the different stages of Syphilis?
Generally, the Syphilis infection occurs in four different stages and it is highly infectious in the initial two stages. The different stages of syphilis infection are clearly explained below.
1) Early or Primary Syphilis
People with the primary stage of infection develop chancres (painless genital ulcer), small and round sores which are generally painless. They occur in the genitals and in or around the mouth between 10 to 90 days after exposure. These sores are highly infectious and a person can easily get Syphilis by coming into contact with this sore. But these sores can heal without any treatment within six months.
2) Secondary Syphilis
During this stage, sore throat and rosy skin rashes develop on the soles and palms which might last for three months. Sometimes you may also notice moist warts on the groin (area of the hip between the stomach and the thigh) and white patches inside the mouth. Like primary syphilis, secondary syphilis can also be cured without treatment.
3) Latent Syphilis
The third stage of syphilis infection is the latent or hidden stage where the bacteria remains inactive in the body. All the symptoms of primary and secondary syphilis will disappear and there won’t be any noticeable symptoms in the body. This stage may last up to years before progressing to the advanced stage.
4) Tertiary Syphilis
The last stage of syphilis infection is the tertiary stage which is life-threatening. Nearly 15 to 30% of the people who do not receive treatment at the earlier stages enter this stage. This stage can cause severe complications in the heart, nerves, and brain which will result in paralysis, deafness, blindness, memory problems, neurological disorders and sometimes death in case of inadequate treatment.
What are the signs and symptoms of Syphilis?
You may experience different symptoms depending on the stages you are passing through. Sometimes you do not notice any symptoms but still, you can pass on the disease to some other person. The following are the syphilis symptoms that can be seen in the different stages of syphilis infection.
Symptoms during primary and secondary stages:
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Pain in the joints
- Skin rashes
- Sores in the mouth, anus or vagina
Symptoms in the tertiary stage:
- Neurological problems
- Infection in the spinal cord membranes
- Personality changes
- Inflammation in the blood vessels
- Destruction of soft tissue and bones
How is the Syphilis infection diagnosed?
If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms or if you suspect the possibility of having the Syphilis infection, then get tested for Syphilis immediately as it is highly infectious. The Syphilis test is done using the blood sample. The collected sample is sent to the lab for analysis. Self-collection of blood samples at home is also possible with Syphilis home test kits offered by some labs across all the cities in the United States.
Right time to test for Syphilis
Is there any preparation required before the test?
The Syphilis test just requires a blood sample. No fasting or any other special preparation is required before taking the Syphilis test.
What is the treatment for Syphilis infection?
Syphilis is curable only at the earlier stages and only if treated with appropriate antibiotics. In the case of positive Syphilis results, primary and secondary syphilis can be treated with a penicillin injection. People allergic to the penicillin injection can be treated with different antibiotics like doxycycline, azithromycin, ceftriaxone. Syphilis cannot be cured at its advanced stages but can be treated with some medications to relieve the symptoms.
What happens if Syphilis is left untreated?
If Syphilis is left untreated in the earlier stages, it might lead to more complications like neurological problems, brain disorders and sometimes death. People with untreated Syphilis infection are also at a higher risk of getting HIV infection.
How to prevent Syphilis infection?
There is no vaccine to prevent Syphilis infection. The following are the best ways to prevent Syphilis infection.
- Using condoms or dental dams during vaginal, anal or oral sex
- Practicing monogamy
- Regular Syphilis testing
- It is very important to inform your recent sex partners to get tested for Syphilis.
To prevent reinfection, it is compulsory to not practice sex till your sores disappear and you are completely cured.
Syphilis testing can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. either by visiting the lab or by shopping the Syphilis home test kit. To know the Syphilis test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
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