Serologic Test For Syphilis
What is it?
A serologic (ser-o-loj ic) test for syphilis (sif-uh-lus), also called STS, is a blood test to find if syphilis is present. Syphilis is an infection that is spread through sexual contact. There are several different blood tests to find syphilis and STS refers to all of them.
Why do I need it?
STS is often done as a routine test before surgery or admission to the hospital. These tests are also done if there is known contact with someone who is infected with syphilis. STS is a screening test, so if it is positive, more specific tests are done. If syphilis is confirmed, STS is used to follow how well the medicines are working. For more information, ask your caregiver for the CareNotes™ handout about syphilis. Caregivers will explain the test and why you need it.
How do I get ready for the test?
Your caregiver will tell you when to have your blood test done. The blood test may be done before or after eating.
How is the specimen collected?
A caregiver will put a wide rubber strap around your arm and tighten it. Your skin will be cleaned with alcohol. A small needle attached to a special test tube will be put into a vein in your arm or hand. The tube has suction to pull the blood into it. When the tube is full, the rubber strap, needle and tube are removed. The caregiver will press a piece of cotton where the needle was removed. You may be asked to hold the cotton on the site for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. Tape may then be put over the cotton on your arm.
What do I do after the test?
You may remove the tape and cotton in about 20 to 30 minutes. Call your caregiver to get the results of your test. Your caregiver will explain what your test results mean for you. Follow the instructions of your caregiver.
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your lab tests. You can then discuss the results with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.