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Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Does this sound like Secondary Syphilis


this is the rash on my hand
this is the rash on my  

the rash on my body
the rash on my body  
I recently went to the doctor because I had a rash that was all over my body. he told me it was P. Rosea he did not do any blood work. The rash is very itchy. Later I noticed I had dark brown marks on one of my hand. I was wondering does this sound or look like Syphilis?

Note: I did test for syphilis 2 1/2 months after I had sex with the girl I did not know her status. It was unprotected.  My results came back negative. I only took one test.

My wife is pregnant and we had been having sex and her test came back negative as well. she got tested before I developed the rash

If I had syphilis would she have caught it? What are the chances of my test being a false negative?  Also I have attracted some pictures of my rash.  

In short
1. I had sex may
2. I got tested about august.
3. she got tested in October

Thank you so much for your time. If my writing is confusing.

Hello Reese,
Secondary stages of syphilis may cause the type of rash that you have, as can a few other things. However only a very few conditions may cause a rash on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. The body rash is also possibly caused by secondary syphilis, or some other conditions. Syphilis blood testing may take up to 100 days after infection for it to become reactive.  Usually the test should be reactive by the time such a rash is evident. If you are retested as positive (reactive), than both you and your wife require treatment for syphilis. This is especially important if your wife is pregnant, as congenital syphilis in the baby could be quite serious. Contact your doctor, or your city's health department immediately about being tested. If your city doesn't have a health department clinic, you may need to travel to a larger city near where you live.

If the test is negative ("nonreactive"), than we need to figure out what other type of problem might be responsible for the rash. I would consider seeing a dermatologist.

Good luck!

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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