b. Other Tests.
(1) Dark-field examination. This test can be performed when sores are
present. Fluid from these sores is taken and examined on a dark field under a
microscope. Such an examination may reveal the characteristic spiral-shaped
organisms that cause syphilis.
(2) Cerebrospinal-fluid analysis. The VDRL and the FTA-ABS tests are
usually performed on a blood sample. These tests may be performed on a sample of
cerebrospinal fluid obtained by a lumbar tap to diagnose the spread of late syphilis to
the nervous system.
Section IV. THE CONTACT INTERVIEW
2-15. INITIAL CONTACT
The overall goal is to locate, examine, interview, and treat all infecters. To do
this, establish rapport with the patient. Make him feel as relaxed and comfortable as
possible. Verify data on the patient's medical chart: name, address, and phone
number. Establish the patient's willingness to answer direct questions. Then, obtain
a. Who is the patient having sexual relationships with?
b. What is the patient's occupation?
c. What is his marital status? Number of children?
d. Any other helpful locating information?
2-16. GIVING INFORMATION TO/RECEIVING INFORMATION FROM THE PATIENT
a. Educational Information to the Patient. The number of cases of sexually
transmitted diseases has increased greatly in recent years because the patterns of
sexual behavior among people changed. It is important for everyone to be informed
about STDs with facts. For example, sexually transmitted diseases thrive when in
contact with a warm moist environment such as mucous membranes but die in harsh
environments such as a counter top. For each patient who is treated for an STD, there
are usually one or more sexual contacts who require diagnosis and treatment. To
achieve the goal of preventing/controlling the transmission of STDs, individuals must
have facts about transmission and treatment of these diseases.