STD test gets nearly twenty percent of syphilis cases wrong

Pin it

Here's the bad news: you tested positive for syphilis. Now here's the good news: you don't actually have syphilis. The likelihood of this happening is apparently way higher than previously thought. According to the Center for Disease Control, about eighteen percent of positive STD test results for syphilis were actually negative. Experts originally estimated that number at seven percent.

While CDC officials said it's not clear how widely used the problematic testing method is versus another, more traditional one, they have recognized why the tests are so screwed up. It turns out the tests can't always distinguish syphilis antibodies from other proteins in the blood, meaning it sometimes gives a positive result for something other than syphilis. Oops. Looks like your chances of getting a second opinion have never sounded so optimistic.

And hey, at least it's better that the inaccuracies weren't the other way around. Otherwise there'd be a whole lot of paranoia tainting our Valentine's Day weekend.