Who Should Get Tested for STDs?

In short, anyone who is sexually active should get tested for STDs. Even for those who have not yet had sex, it’s important to understand your sexual health status as STDs can still be present in those individuals as there are other exposure possibilities.

Unsure of What Test You Need? Here’s Our Recommendations.

In terms of what test to get, the CDC offers specific testing recommendations:

  • All individuals age 13 – 64 should be tested at least once for HIV
  • Sexually active women:
    • Younger than 25 should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year
    • Older than 25 and with risk factors, like new or multiple partners or a partner who has an STD, should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia yearly
  • Those who are pregnant should be tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C beginning early in the pregnancy. Individuals at risk for infection should also include testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Repeat testing may be necessary.
  • All sexually active gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men:
    • Test at least once per year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea; more frequent testing is necessary for those with multiple or anonymous partners
    • Test at least once per year for HIV, or more frequently depending on risk factors
    • If living with HIV, test at least once per year for hepatitis C
  • All who engage in sexual behaviors that could put them at risk of infection or share injection drug equipment should be tested for HIV at least once every year
  • Those who have participated in oral or anal sex should discuss throat or rectal testing options with a healthcare provider

All information above from: https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm

When Will an STD Test be Accurate?

If you are getting tested for an STD, it’s important to note that the only way to get accurate results is to allow the infection enough time to present itself. For some STDs, that could be a matter of a few days, but for others it could be weeks or even months. Here is a brief list of when testing will be the most accurate based on the type of STD:

Blood nucleic acid test:
10 – 33 days after exposure

Antigen/antibody test:
18 – 45 days after exposure

Antibody test:
23 – 90 days after exposure

1 – 2 weeks after exposure

After treatment:
Retest after 3 months

1 week to 1 month after exposure

After treatment:
Retest after 2 weeks

Within 3 weeks after sores appear (sores usually appear 1 week after exposure)

After treatment:
Retest after 6 and 12 months

5 days to 2 weeks after exposure

If negative, retest again in 2 weeks

After treatment:
Retest after 2 weeks

1 – 4 months after exposure

3 weeks to a few months after exposure

Hepatitis B:
3-6 weeks after exposure

Hepatitis C:
2-6 weeks after exposure

After treatment:
Retest after 6 months

Get the Right Answers with the Right Test

Still unsure of what test is right for you? Take a closer look at the testing methods that are specific to each of the common STDs to determine which will provide you with the most accurate results.

STD Testing Types