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How Soon Can I Get Tested for STDs After Unprotected Sex?

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How Soon Can I
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Get Tested
For STDs After Unprotected Sex

The time frame for taking an STD test varies based on the incubation period for the infection and can differ from person to person. Check out the list below to find out the best time to take an STD test for the most common sexually transmitted diseases.

Chlamydia
How Long Should I Wait?
1-5 Days
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
24 hours - 5 days
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Chlamydia is 1 to 5 days. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

Get tested again 2 weeks after treatment to ensure that you are clear of the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.

Gonorrhea
How Long Should I Wait?
2-6 days
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 2-6 days
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Gonorrhea is 2 to 6 days. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

Get tested again 2 weeks after treatment to ensure that you are clear of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.

Syphilis
How Long Should I Wait?
3-6 Weeks
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 3-6 weeks
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Syphilis is 3 to 6 weeks. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

Get tested again 2 weeks after treatment to ensure that you are clear of the Treponema pallidum bacteria.

Hepatitis A
How Long Should I Wait?
2-7 Weeks
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 2-7 weeks
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Hepatitis A is up to 28 days. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

Retesting is not necessary because Hepatitis A remains in your system for life.

Hepatitis B
How Long Should I Wait?
6 Weeks
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 6 weeks
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Hepatitis B is 3 to 6 weeks. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

Retesting is not necessary because Hepatitis B remains in your system for life.

Hepatitis C
How Long Should I Wait?
8-9 Weeks
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 8-9 weeks
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Hepatitis C is 8 to 9 weeks. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

Get retested after 3 months to confirm you initial test results.

Oral Herpes
How Long Should I Wait?
4-6 Weeks
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 4-6 weeks
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Genital Herpes. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

No, HSV-1 remains in your system for life. If you test negative, retest after 3 months to confirm the initial result.

Genital Herpes
How Long Should I Wait?
4-6 Weeks
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 4-6 weeks
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for Genital Herpes is 4 to 6 weeks. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

No, HSV-2 remains in your system for life. If you test negative, retest after 3 months to confirm the initial result.

HIV (HIV Antibody Test Method)
How Long Should I Wait?
1-3 Months
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 1-3 months
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for HIV (Antibody) is 25 days to 2 months. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

It is advised to retest to confirm your result. Seek treatment immediately if you test positive for HIV.

HIV (HIV RNA Test For Early Detection)
How Long Should I Wait?
9-11 Days
Earliest Window for Testing
Date of Exposure
Calendar showing 9-11 days
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for HIV (RNA) is 9 to 11 days. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

It is advised to retest to confirm your result. Seek treatment immediately if you test positive for HIV.

STDcheck.com

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.

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The Right Time to Test for STDs

The timing 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 the most common sexually transmitted disease:

STD NameHow Soon to Get Tested; Why That Time-Frame?If I Test Positive, Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?
Chlamydia24 Hours - 5 DaysGet tested again 2 weeks after treatment to ensure that you are clear of the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.
Gonorrhea2-6 DaysGet tested 2 weeks after being treated to ensure that you are clear of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.
Syphilis3-6 WeeksGet tested again after 3 months to ensure that you are clear of the Treponema pallidum bacteria.
Hepatitis A (HAV)2-7 Weeks; the hepatitis A virus averages a 28-day incubation period.Retesting is not necessary, since Hepatitis A is a virus, and remains in your system for life.
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.Retesting is not necessary, since Hepatitis B is a virus, and remains in your system for life.
Hepatitis C (HCV)8-9 WeeksGet retested after 3 months to confirm your initial test results.
Oral Herpes (HSV-1/Herpes I)4-6 WeeksIf you tested negative, get retested frequently if you have unprotected oral sex or come in contact with Herpes 1 fluids like saliva or semen.
Genital Herpes (HSV-2/Herpes II)4-6 WeeksEven if you tested negative for Genital Herpes, it is advised to retest after 3 months to confirm the initial results.
HIV (HIV Antibody Test Method)1-3 MonthsRetesting is not necessary, since HIV is a virus and remains in your system for life. Seek treatment if you test positive for HIV.
HIV (HIV RNA Test for early detection)9-11 DaysRetesting is not necessary, since HIV is a virus and remains in your system for life. Seek treatment if you test positive for HIV.

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.

 

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