Syphilis Test Gives 1 in 5 a False Positive

CDC recommends alternate test
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2011 8:05 AM CST
Syphilis Test Gives 1 in 5 a False Positive
The dominant syphilis test is finding syphilis where there is none.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

You have syphilis. OK, maybe not. That's the experience hundreds of people may have suffered thanks to inconsistencies in the dominant syphilis test, USA Today reports. Some 18% of people who tested positive since the 1980s were actually free of the disease, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends a second testing method—but doesn't have nationwide figures for how prevalent the faulty method is.
(More CDC stories.)

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