There are an estimated 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases and infections every year, and half of all Americans will contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) during their lifetime. Getting tested for STDs is essential if you are going to engage in unprotected sexual activity. Anyone who engages in unprotected sex runs the risk for exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.
The Right Time to Test for STDs
The time for when to get STD tested varies depending on the sexually transmitted disease because the incubation time in everyone’s system varies. Check out the list below for information on when to get tested for which sexually transmitted disease:
|STD Name||How Soon to Get Tested; Why That Time-Frame?||If I Test Positive, Do I Need to Get Re-Tested After Treatment?|
|Chlamydia||24 Hours - 5 Days||Get tested again 2 Weeks after treatment to ensure that you are clear.|
|Gonorrhea||2-6 Days||Get tested 2 Weeks after being treated to ensure that you are clear of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.|
|Syphilis||3-6 Weeks||Get tested again after 3 months to ensure that you are clear.|
|Hepatitis A (HAV)||2-7 Weeks; the hepatitis A virus averages a 28-day incubation period.||N/A|
|Hepatitis B (HBV)||6 Weeks; hepatitis B can occasionally be detected as early as 3 weeks after exposure, but for more accurate results we recommend getting tested after 6 weeks.||N/A|
|Hepatitis C (HCV)||8-9 Weeks||Get re-tested 3 months after to ensure that you do not have an active HCV infection.|
|Oral Herpes (HSV-1/Herpes I)||4-6 Weeks||Get re-tested frequently if you have unprotected oral sex or come in contact with Herpes I fluids like saliva or semen.|
|Genital Herpes (HSV-2/Herpes II)||4-6 Weeks||Even if you tested negative, it is advised to re-test after 3 months to confirm the initial results.|
|HIV (HIV Antibody Test Method)||1-3 Months||N/A|
|HIV (HIV RNA Test for early detection)||9-11 Days||N/A|
Take control of your sexual health by arming yourself with knowledge. Protect yourself, avoid risky behavior, and get tested for STDs often. Preventing the transmission of diseases is the only way to decrease the number of infected people who can potentially spread diseases.