Why It Is Done continued...
A test for syphilis is done to:
- Screen for syphilis or check how well treatment is working. Screening tests help your doctor look for a certain disease
or condition before any symptoms appear. This increases the chance of finding
the infection when it can be cured or treated to avoid long-term problems.
- The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task
Force (USPSTF) recommend that all pregnant women be screened
for syphilis early in pregnancy.1, 2
- Confirm that a person has syphilis.
syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections is often done for
people who engage in
sexual behaviors that put them at risk. If you have syphilis, your
sex partner or partners should be told, tested, and treated to prevent
serious problems and to stop the spread of the disease.
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor if you:
- Are taking any medicines, such as
- Are allergic to any
medicines, especially antibiotics or medicine used to numb the skin
- Have had bleeding problems or take blood-thinners,
such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).
- Are or might be
If you have syphilis, do not have sex until
the test results show that you are no longer infected or until you and your sex
partner or partners have completed treatment and the infection has been cured.
Your sex partners should be tested as well.
If you think you might have syphilis, do not
have sex until testing shows that you are not infected.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have
regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the
results may mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A syphilis test may be done on a sample of blood, sore, skin, or
spinal fluid, depending on which type of test is done.
The health professional taking a sample of your blood
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of
blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a
needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the
needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band
from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Put a gauze pad or
cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
Sore or skin sample