Syphilis Test

How it Works

Syphilis Test

Syphilis is a common bacterial sexually transmitted disease.  Syphilis is spread through skin to skin contact with a part of the body containing a syphilis sore.  Because these sores often appear in the genital, anal, or oral area, syphilis is easily spread through sexual contact.  Pregnant women can spread syphilis to the babies they are carrying.  Syphilis is often called “the great imitator” because many of its symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other conditions.  It is important to receive a syphilis test in order to ensure proper diagnosis.


An easy, confidential Syphilis test

At Request a Test, we have access to labs all over the country.  We use the same testing facilities that are employed by many hospitals and physicians for their testing needs.  The majority of our labs operate on a walk-in basis so there is no need to schedule appointments.  Ordering your syphilis test with us eliminates the need to go through your doctor or insurance.  No one needs to know about your testing needs but you.

Symptoms of Syphilis

Syphilis infections are commonly divided into stages with each stage being associated with its own symptoms.  However, it is vital to note that symptoms will not always manifest in the same way or at the same time in all of those infected. 

The primary stage of syphilis is typically marked by the appearance of one or more small, round, painless sores at the site where the infection entered the body.  These sores usually heal by themselves even though the infection is still present in the body.

The secondary stage is typically characterized by the appearance of a red or reddish-brown rash.  This rash will commonly appear on the hands or soles of the feet but it may appear in other places or take other appearances.  Other symptoms of this stage may include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, muscle aches, weight loss, and fatigue.  Once again, these symptoms may disappear without treatment.

In many cases, syphilis will enter a latent stage which can last for years.  During this time there will be no symptoms present. 

The tertiary stage may occur where the infection has caused serious damage to the body’s internal systems.  Symptoms at this point of infection can include difficulty with muscle coordination, paralysis, numbness, loss of vision, and dementia.  In some cases, the damage done to the body may be fatal.  

While these stages and symptoms are typical, they are not universal.  The absence of symptoms is not a reason to avoid getting a syphilis test.


Who should get a Syphilis test?

Syphilis is highly contagious and easily spread through sexual contact of the genital area, anus, or throat.  Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for syphilis infection.  The risk is higher for those who engage in unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners.  The use of condoms or other protective devices lessens but does not eliminate the risk of syphilis infections. 


Why get a Syphilis test?

Syphilis infections often present no symptoms.  When symptoms do occur they can easily be mistaken for signs of other illnesses.  Untreated syphilis infection can cause severe damage to the brain, nerves, heart, blood vessels, eyes, liver, bones, and joints.  This damage can result in paralysis, blindness, dementia, and even death.  Pregnant women infected with syphilis have an increased risk of stillbirth.  Infants born with syphilis infections may develop life-threatening health complications.   Those infected with syphilis are at increased risk of contracting HIV.


When to get a Syphilis test

Syphilis tests are typically most accurate at 6 weeks or more after initial contact.  Anyone who learns that a current or previous sexual partner has tested positive for syphilis should receive a syphilis test of their own.  All pregnant women should receive a syphilis test as the infection can be spread to their babies leading to serious and sometimes fatal complications for the infant.


Where can I get a Syphilis test?

Request A Test contracts with 2 of the largest labs in the United States to provide you with 1000s of lab collection centers nationwide.  When you order your syphilis test with us, we will find the lab location that is most convenient for you.  Once your order is complete, you can go to the lab at any time during their business hours.  To find the lab location nearest to you or to view a complete list of available lab locations, please go to   


Syphilis test preparation

Syphilis tests require no special preparation. 


Syphilis test procedure

Upon arrival at the lab, you will undergo a simple blood collection.


Syphilis test accuracy

At Request a Test we use only nationally accredited labs with highly trained personnel and state of the art equipment to ensure the highest possible accuracy in your syphilis test results.


Syphilis test results

The syphilis RPR test typically sees results the next business day.  The syphilis FTA-ABS test typically sees results in 1-3 business days.  You will be notified by e-mail as soon as your results are available.  You can access your results online or call to speak to a representative.  Results can also be sent by fax or mail by special request. 


Syphilis Treatment

Syphilis is typically treated with antibiotics like penicillin.  Treatments can kill the syphilis bacteria but they will not undo any damage already done to the body.  The earlier syphilis is discovered, the easier and more effective the treatments will be.  For this reason, it is important that anyone whose behaviors put them at risk for infection receive timely syphilis testing.  It is always advisable to retest in order to ensure that the treatment was successful.   

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