Category Archives: Testing
April is STD awareness month: Good health means getting tested
If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Make sure you have an open and honest conversation about your sexual history and STD testing with your doctor and ask whether you should be tested for STDs. If you are not comfortable talking with your regular health care provider about STDs, there are many clinics that provide confidential and free or low-cost testing.
Below is a brief overview of STD testing recommendations. STD screening information for healthcare providers can be found here.
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
- All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Testing should be repeated as needed to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
- All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently for STDs (i.e., at 3- to 6-month intervals).
- Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
You can quickly find a place to be tested for STDs by entering your zip code at gettested.cdc.gov.
Why I Didn’t Get Tested for HIV Until I Was 25
“…It took about 30 minutes for the nursing staff to return to our small waiting room with his results. In those 30 minutes, I began to sweat, and imagine what my response could be if he turned out to test positive for something. What if he had HIV? How would I explain this? My boyfriend, of course, had his own sexual history, but I was the one with a raunchier past. I knew he had been tested before, and I knew he was negative, but I couldn’t help but be fearful of having given him something I didn’t know I had myself.
36.7 million people were living with HIV in 2016, according to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Startlingly, only 60 percent of those with HIV were aware of their status, meaning over 14 million people were living life not knowing they carried the virus. Despite the myths surrounding the disease, it’s not easy to know you’re living with it.”