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How often should I get tested for STD? Based on every situation under the sun!

I am in a new relationship, I am single I just had sex once, I am into long term relationship, do I need to get tested ? how often should I get tested for STD after being tested for the first time couple of months back ? These questions are very obvious and there is always this fear of getting contracted by STDs, as most of the STDs are asymptotic. Also, risks of Untreated STDs can be dangerous and can even cause permanent damage like infertility or can even be life threatening in worst case. So the question never fade away. How long does it take before you know you have an STD? Are there any STD screening guidelines ? Where to get tested for STDs? So that one can be rest assured. The answer to all these questions are conditional, based on age, STD symptoms, relationship status etc. so lets analyse on case to case basis.

Testing STD once after having sex

If you are between the age of 21 & 25 years, you should get tested for Chlamydia annually in-case you are having sex once after a long time. The prevalence of Chlamydia remains very high till this age. If tested positive then Get tested again 2 weeks after treatment to ensure that you are clear of the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. The average incubation period for Chlamydia is 1 to 5 days. If you get tested before this, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period of Chlamydia has passed.

Gonorrhea too qualifies as being an asymptotic disease, also, it is the second most common STD in USA. Like in case of Chlamydia, for Gonorrhea get tested, 2 weeks after treatment to ensure that you are clear Gonorrhea virus. Avg. incubation of Gonorrhea is 2 to 6 days. Thus,  it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period of Gonorrhea has passed.

Testing, If you are currently having casual sex

Casual sex involves new partner in shorter spell, so it calls for std testing of both well ahead of time. STD/HIV infections should be feared, when had sex without protect with your partner. The problem with casual sex partner is that you are not aware of the sexual history  or not in control of the partner. So STD testing must be more often than once a year, once in 6 month, if there are multiple sex partners then the testing frequency increases to once in 3 months or so. Depending on the type of HIV test, it can take between 1 and 12 weeks after infection for the test to show up as positive.

STD testing before relationship

This stage testing is only one of its kind as this would involve testing for your partner’s safety more than yours. So immediate testing is suggested or at least testing before having unprotected sex. So if you are looking out for serious relationship, testing result gives the confidence about your partner status. So even if the problem exist in either of one you can get rid of it or start any necessary treatment early on in the relationship.

testing when in long term relationship

Although doctor suggest std testing based on age, symptoms etc in case you are in a long term relationship ideally it testing should be done thrice in a relationship, and if nothing pops up in the result, hold off on further testing unless your relationship status changes.

In a long term relationship if the tests are positive it doesn’t necessarily means that your partner was cheating on you. STDs Aren’t Always a Sign of Infidelity. There are many factors which can be questioned like

  1. Are you reliable about your STD testing and talking to your partner, thus it can be difficult to find out who infected you with an STD if the discussion with the partner didn’t happen.
  2. If you were infected while having sex with a partner who had not been tested in years,  you don’t know when they were infected.
  3. Many STDs are  asymptotic (not showing any signs) and can remain in dormant state (Herpes) for years to come. Thus, your partner must be infected long time before you got together.
  4. Particularly if you intermittently practice safe sex, infection could take months or even years.

Thus in examples like Herpes or pelvic inflammatory disease it may happen that the contraction might have happened long time back, even before getting into relationship. Thus blaming the spouse or partner for infidelity may not be true. Thus communication is the key for STD testing in long term relationship.

testing after positive result (in previous test), regardless of your relationship status

There are STD screening guidelines for this, that your doctor will inform but a follow up is a must 6 months after testing positive. Especially in women, when diagnosed positive and treated, is likely to have that STD again within the span of 6 month. It is difficult to get tested, rather the thought of result may scare a person, especially after being tested positive in the past, but this is the most efficient way of getting control of your sexual health / sexual life, besides safe sex practices.

How soon can you get tested for an STD? : STD testing recommendations for all.

After analysis of years of data and research work, CDC has came up with the following recommendations for STD screening, which could lead to healthy and safe sexual health life.

    • All adults and adolescents between the ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
    • Annual Chlamydia testing recommended for Sexually active women below the age of 25 : & older women with new or multiple sex partners or sex partner who has a STD/STI
    • Annual Gonorrhea testing recommended for Sexually active women below the age of 25 : & older women with new or multiple sex partners or sex partner who has a Sexually transmitted infections.
    • Sexually active Bisexual, Gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM) : Testing at least once a year. Rise in Syphilis Infection graph for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. MSM with multiple partners should get themselves diagnosed more often that is once in 3-6 months.Sexually active Bisexual, Gay should also carry out screening for HIV  once in 3-6 months.
    • STD testing for Pregnant women :Syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B screening is recommended.Chlamydia & gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women starting early in pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed, to protect the health of mothers and her child.
    • Anyone using injection drugs syringe or has unsafe sex with anyone should get tested at least once in a year.