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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Without treatment, it can have serious health implications. Many companies sell at-home testing kits for syphilis and other STIs.

This article looks at five at-home syphilis tests. It explores how the tests work and gives information about reliability and when to contact a doctor.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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A person can order a home syphilis test online or buy one from some in-store pharmacies.

Usually, an individual needs to take a blood sample from a finger prick. And more thorough tests, which can identify various STIs, may also need urine or swab samples.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend regular testing for:

  • pregnant people
  • males who have sex with males
  • people with HIV
  • people with partners who have tested positive for syphilis

As the advocacy group Planned Parenthood notes, many people with STIs have no symptoms. The organization recommends that anyone who has had vaginal, anal, or oral sex consider getting tested, particularly if people had sex without using a barrier method, such as a condom.

A pharmacist or another healthcare professional may be able to recommend tests that are reliable and accurate.

Traditional tests, where a healthcare professional collects a sample and sends it for testing, are always more accurate than home tests. In part, this is because people who are unfamiliar with collecting samples may do it incorrectly.

One 2015 systematic review compared the accuracy of self-collected and clinician-collected samples for STI testing. It found that the samples clinicians collected were more reliable, though these could still yield inaccurate results.

It is worth noting from the outset that no home tests for syphilis have approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A person may opt for this type of testing due to:

  • Convenience: A person can test on their own schedule from the comfort of home.
  • No unexpected medical bills: For most of these tests, a person pays the whole amount up front.
  • Some tests are panels: This means that the lab tests one sample for several STIs.

However, someone may not want to provide a blood sample with a finger prick, possibly due to a fear of needles or a discomfort about the sight of blood.

Anyone interested in a home test should make sure the company provides access to a healthcare professional who can discuss the results and advise about the next steps.

The costs vary by brand and whether the test checks for single or multiple infections. Tests in this list that just check for syphilis cost $29–78. The panel tests are more expensive.

Some companies allow payments from flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs), and some insurance companies may reimburse customers for the cost. It is worth researching payment options before making a purchase.

Medical News Today does not rank products in any order and does not recommend one product over another. A person should choose the product that best fits their needs.

MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria:

  • Laboratories: Where possible, MNT will choose companies that process test samples in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified labs. This means they follow state and federal regulations.
  • Budget: MNT chooses at-home tests that suit a wide range of budgets.
  • Privacy: MNT includes companies that offer robust and transparent privacy measures, such as data protection and discreet packaging.
  • Test result speed: MNT selects companies that inform customers when they will receive their test results and whether they will receive them via email, app, or phone.
  • Further support: MNT will indicate whether a company offers further support, such as a follow-up phone consultation with a doctor to discuss test results.

Below are some home syphilis tests available for purchase online.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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Best for follow-up advice: Everlywell

  • Collection method: This test requires a finger-prick blood sample.
  • Results time: People will receive their results within days of the lab receiving the sample.
  • Price: $49.

This test requires a person to take a finger-prick blood sample and send it to a laboratory for testing.

The price is $49 for people who are not Everlywell members and $24.99 for nonmembers. The company accepts payments from FSAs and HSAs. There is no charge for shipping, and the packaging is discreet.

The pack contains all the necessary equipment and a prepaid label for sending the sample to the lab.

Everlywell says that the labs it works with are certified by CLIA, indicating that they meet high standards and have state and federal certifications.

The company says that it keeps personal data confidential, that this test is 99% accurate, and that a local certified healthcare professional contacts anyone who receives a positive result to discuss the next steps.

Read more about Everlywell here.

Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off.

Best for a home and lab hybrid syphilis test: Health Labs

  • Collection method: This test requires a blood sample.
  • Results time: People will receive their results within 1–3 days.
  • Price: From $49.

Health Labs is an online health testing company. A person orders the testing kit of their choice online. Then, they can have it shipped to a local CLIA-certified lab, where a healthcare professional can collect the sample for testing.

The company sells two syphilis tests. One is a rapid plasma reagin test for $49. This type of test detects the substance that cells excrete during syphilis infections. The other tests for Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis. This costs $99 and is reportedly more accurate.

The test requires a blood sample, and a person can expect their results in 1–3 days.

Health Labs says that all personal information is secure. It accepts FSAs and HSAs as payment but does not accept insurance. However, the company notes that some insurance companies reimburse customers for health screenings.

Health Labs offers a 110% price match guarantee, meaning that if a competitor has the same test for a lower price, the company matches the price and gives a 10% discount.

The best for a combination at-home syphilis test: LetsGetChecked

  • Collection method: This test requires a finger-prick blood and urine sample.
  • Results time: People will receive their results within 2–5 days.
  • Price: From $149.

These tests check one set of samples for multiple STIs.

The company’s Standard 5 test looks for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and trichomoniasis, and it costs $149.

The Complete 8 checks for the above plus Gardnerella, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Ureaplasma. It costs $249.

LetsGetChecked accepts HSA and FSA payments. A person can subscribe to receive the test every 3 months, which reduces the cost by 30%.

The tests come in discreet packaging and include prepaid shipping labels. A person needs to provide a finger-prick blood sample and a urine sample and send these to the lab the same day.

The company says that the results are available online within 2–5 days, and it has nurses available 24-7 to discuss the results and treatment.

LetsGetChecked says that its labs are the same highly reliable labs that healthcare professionals use. It adds that the labs have certification from CLIA and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). The testing kits come from an ISO 13485-accredited facility.

Read more about LetsGetChecked here.

Best for fast results: STD Check Test Kits

  • Collection method: This test requires a blood sample.
  • Results time: People will receive their results within 1–2 days.
  • Price: From $49.

This brand sells a variety of single or combination kits. A person can purchase a syphilis test for $49, and the company says that this has 95% sensitivity and a specificity of 91%.

Alternatively, a person might purchase a 10-panel test for $139 or a 10-panel test with HIV RNA early detection for $259.

An individuals needs to send a blood sample to a CLIA-certified lab, and the results are available in 1–2 days. The testing company can connect a person with a physician if the results are positive.

Best for a customizable at-home syphilis test: iDNA Syphilis Test

  • Collection method: This test requires a finger-prick blood sample.
  • Results time: People will receive their test results in 2–7 business days.
  • Price: $78.

iDNA sells individual tests, “doctor recommended” panel tests, and customizable panel tests. For the latter, a person chooses which STIs the panel test checks for.

The individual syphilis test costs $78 and requires a finger-prick blood sample. The company uses CLIA- and CAP-certified labs that look for the bacterium responsible for the infection.

As with all tests for this bacterium, a person who has had the infection and received effective treatment in the past will receive positive results.

iDNA says its tests are 99.9% accurate, and the results come back in 2–7 business days. The company also says that the test’s components are FDA-approved.

The following table compares the above syphilis tests.

EverlywellHealth LabsLetsGetCheckedSTD Check Test KitsiDNA Syphilis Test
What does it test for?syphilissyphilis• chlamydia
• gonorrhea
• trichomoniasis
• syphilis
Collection methodblood sampleblood sampleblood and urine sampleblood sampleblood sample
Results timewithin days1–3 days2–5 days1–2 days2–7 business days
Follow up adviceyesnoyesyesno
Price$49from $49from $149from $49$78

A person may prefer to have an STI test at a clinic or a doctor’s office. If a person has used an at-home test, they should contact a doctor if the result is positive.

An individual should also contact a doctor if they have any symptoms that may indicate syphilis, regardless of the test result. Another STI or health condition may be causing the symptoms.

Many people with syphilis do not have immediate symptoms. There may be painless sores on the genitals, mouth, anus, or rectum and enlarged lymph nodes around the sores.

Some later symptoms may include:

Learn more about “secondary” syphilis here.

Without treatment, syphilis can cause significant damage to the organs and nervous system.

Learn more about syphilis here.

Anyone with concerns about syphilis symptoms or complications should speak with a doctor.

Below, we answer some common questions about syphilis tests.

How long does it take for syphilis to show up on tests?

Symptoms of syphilis usually occur around 3 weeks after infection, but they may take up to 90 days to appear. Syphilis tests will be able to detect this infection once symptoms appear.

A person should receive testing if they notice any symptoms of syphilis or have had sex with someone with symptoms. Additionally, those who are pregnant, those with HIV and who are sexually active, and males who have sex with males should receive testing even if they do not display symptoms.

How does syphilis affect pregnancy?

A person who is pregnant and has syphilis can pass on the infection to the baby. Syphilis can result in the fetus not developing as it should, stillbirth, premature birth, and death shortly after birth. For those born with syphilis, this infection causes death in 40% of cases.

Infants who contract syphilis from their biological parents may experience developmental delays and seizures, and this infection can cause death.

However, doctors can treat those who are pregnant and have syphilis with penicillin, which is effective in 98% of cases. Those who are allergic to penicillin should discuss desensitization with their medical team.

Can you have syphilis and test negative?

It is possible to receive a false negative from a rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test, one of the most common types of blood tests that screen for syphilis.

False negatives are most common if a person has the early stages of syphilis. Those who have HIV and untreated late stage syphilis are also more likely to receive a false negative.

Can you not have syphilis and test positive?

Around 1–2% of people in the United States receive a false positive from an RPR test.

Factors that can increase the chances of a false positive include intravenous drug use or having certain conditions, such as HIV, hepatitis B infection, or an autoimmune condition.

However, doctors will perform another test alongside RPR testing to reduce the likelihood of a false positive.

Various home syphilis testing kits are available and rely on a blood sample from a finger prick. Manufacturers of these tests claim that they feature high levels of accuracy.

A person should contact a doctor if they receive a positive result from a home test. Healthcare professionals can also provide testing.