[Question #5436] Conclusive Syphilis Testing

20 months ago
Hi Doctors and thank you for all you do on this forum and others. Your help is greatly appreciated for those of us with OCD/Anxiety.

I went for a massage and participated in mutual masturbation with a gay massage therapist. I don't remember seeing any open sores. At 8 weeks exactly I had a full STD panel including HIV 4th Gen and RPR. All negative results. Can I take this result as conclusive for Syphilis? I keep reading about the 90 days incubation period and worry my negative result at 8 weeks is not good enough. I have had several canker sores in my mouth during this 8 weeks but I am prone to canker sores anyways so not sure if that means anything. Other than that no other symptoms that I can tell.

Thank you so much for you consideration!! 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
20 months ago
Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your confidence in our service. The short answer to your question is that you are in the clear for all STIs.  Even before testing you were in no danger of having acquired an STI as mutual masturbation is consisted safe sex, even when participants get each others' genital secretions on one another.  With testing you can now be doubly confident that you were not infected.  The 90 day incubation period so often quoted is overly conservative and was based on observations made over 50 years ago. The fact is that the typical incubation time from exposure to development of lesions and syphilis test positivity is less than 30 days.  You can have complete confidence in your 8 week test results.  

I hope this information is helpful to you. If there are any further questions or clarification is needed, please use your up to two follow-up questions and I'll do my best o address any lingering concerns. EWH
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20 months ago
Thank you Dr Hook...this is incredibly reassuring and helpful. My greatest fear is that I touched a syphilitic lesion and didn't realize it and then touched my body transferring the infection. Is this even possible? Just to be clear, no need to retest for Syphilis at 12 weeks?  Thank you again!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
20 months ago
I really would not worry about inadvertently touching a lesion and, even if you did, your tests show you were not infected.  No need for further testing.  You are in the clear.  EWH---
20 months ago
Thanks Dr. Cook. You are awesome. Final question to close this one out....any risk of a false negative at 8 weeks (prozone or prodome I think??) since this was an RPR test? 
20 months ago
Sorry I meant Dr. HOOK! This thing wouldn't let me correct. :-)
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
20 months ago
 I'm glad my comments were helpful. In this setting the chances of a false negatives are virtually zero. No lesion, no reactive tests, no risk encounter. My advice is to put this behind you and move forward without concern.

 As you note, this is my third reply to this thread. As a result the thread will be closed shortly without further comments. Take care and please don't worry. 
EWH
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