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about vdrl


need help badly! anybody out there who can answer my question would be of great help! I had my vdrl tested a few weeks back, the test came out reactive, but when they tested it for TPHA it came back nonreactive, so it is conclusive that i don't have syphillis, my question is, what could have caused the vdrl to be false positive? is there any other std or any venereal disease that can be tested through blood (vdrl rpr), i was also tested for hiv and it came back negative?

Tim Horn:

False-positive VDRL tests can and do occur.  The trepenomal test (TPHA) is a sensitive and accurate way to confirm or refute the results of a positive VDRL, which in this case confirm that you are not infected with the bacterium that causes syphilis.   

A false-positive VDRL can be caused by many things, including drug addiction, aging, mononucleosis (caused by Epstein-Barr virus), lupus, hepatitis A, and pregnancy.  However, a false-positive shouldn't be interpreted to mean that you're infected with another sexually transmitted infection, such as HIV. 

If you're concerned about your false-positive VDRL, please talk to your doctor about it.  You can discuss your risks -- and any symptoms you've been experiencing -- and together figure out which additional tests to conduct. 

Tim Horn   

I hope you take Tim's Information and listen. There is a slight  chance of false positives with many different tests which can be life altering because of the emotional damage. My Dr. felt it not necessary to give me a test that shows a possibility of pancreatic cancer because of the emotional damage a false positive can cause. Your more sensitive test as Tim has told you is awesome news.


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