Most STIs are easy to treat if they are found in time. An STI test is the only way you’ll know for sure whether or not you have an STI or HIV. So get tested if you’re in any doubt.
When should you get tested?
- You’ve had unsafe sex.
- A condom tore or came off during sex.
- You’ve been warned by a partner or your ex who has an STI.
- You’ve got symptoms like warts, blisters, pain when peeing, or discharge that is more than usual or looks different.
- You are in a long-term relationship and want to have sex without condoms.
- You’re pregnant and don’t want to pass any STIs on to your child.
Men with other men
Are you a man who has sex with men? Then get tested for STIs and HIV every 6 months. STIs and HIV are more common among gay and bisexual men (even in a long-term relationship). Take a look at Man-tot-Man.
Why get tested?
- If you have an STI, you can transmit it to others.
- If your STI doesn’t get treated, there could be serious complications.
- Most STIs are easy to treat.
- If you have one STI, there is a greater risk of getting other STIs or HIV.
When is the test reliable?
It takes a while before an STI can be found. So to be sure that your test results are reliable, it’s best to wait for a while:
- Chlamydia and gonorrhoea: 2 weeks after sexual contact.
- HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B: 3 months after sexual contact.
If you have symptoms that may indicate an STI, go and see a doctor immediately. You’ll be tested straight away.
When should you see a doctor immediately?
Go to your doctor or a Sense drop-in session straight away in situations like these:
- You’ve been raped.
- Something went wrong with a condom during anal sex.
They’ll talk to you about various options, such as PEP, hepatitis B vaccination and the morning after pill. PEP is treatment that involves taking antiretroviral HIV drugs for a month to prevent HIV infection.