[Question #558] Rpr test.

42 months ago
I wanted to know if an ear infection (fluid in ear and tinnitus) and sinus infection a symptom of syphilis?I had a RPR done 7 years ago which was nonreactive an d one done last September which was also negative.Should I feel confident these tests are true?I probably read the internet too much and can't get this out of my head....
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago
I'm sorry you feel the need to return with more questions about syphilis.  No, neither sinus infection nor otitis is a symptom of syphilis.  As I told you earlier, with your negative RPR tests you should be completely confident that you do not, and have not, had syphilis.  Your repetitive questions about syphilis and the reliability of the RPR test make me wonder if there is more to your concerns.  If your questions come from reading on the internet about the hugely varied spectrum of illnesses caused by syphilis, you should not let them concern you with your two negative RPR tests.  Really.  EWH
---
42 months ago
Dr. Hook, I will try to make my story short. I had an  massage 7 years ago. There was no oral, anal or vaginal contact. She did sit on my legs without any bottoms on. Two days later horrible jock itch pain. She also had a small cut on her hand but wasn't bleeding. I worried for months and then I  had another jock outbreak from shorts riding into my groin while doing the lawn. My groin area turned purple from scratching the area too hard. I also had some brown spots on my shoulder which my doctor gave me an ointment  for it. I left it on too long and got some kind of skin irritation. Red marks lines on my neck and shoulders which burned. I thought I had hep C or syphilis. I freaked out and had every std test done. All were non reactive but I crashed from the stress. Now just last fall got muscle, joint pains and a facial twitch. Asked my doctor for another rpr test. It was non reactive but now and again I look at the stupid internet and see stuff like false negative results. That is all and my ears hurt with some tinnitus and fluid buildup. I just needed to give you the whole story. Am I too paranoid thinking that mistakes could have been made in the lab while doing my tests.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago

thanks for your additional detail.  I understand your concerns and in particular, how what you might find on the internet can weigh upon you.  Despite that, the fact of the matter is:

1.  The exposure you describe has virtually no risk for syphilis transmission.

2.  The skin lesions and problems you describe would be atypical for syphilis and have other plausible explanations

3. Your negative RPR tests are solid evidence that you do not have HIV. 

Time for you to put these concerns behind you.  If you cannot, then you really need to work through your concerns with a counselor who can help you move forward.  I say this only out of concern for you.   EWH

---
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago
Quick correction- my colleague Dr. Handsfield note that I said your negative RPR tests rule out HIV - that was a mis-statement. I meant to say that they rule out syphilis.  EWH
---