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How Often Do I Need STD Tested?

There’s some good news and bad news with headlines like this:

STD rates Continue to Rise

The bad news:  well, that’s obvious. More and more people are getting STDs. The good news though:  more and more people KNOW they have an STD. It takes STD testing in order for rates to rise, so apparently more and more people are getting tested – which is a very, very good thing.

A common question in our walk-in STD testing labs across the country is the same:  how often do I need STD tested? And our answer:  it will vary. We actually go off the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) when recommending an STD test. See below for a guide on what the CDC says about testing some of the most common STDs.

STD Testing – When to Test

There are some common STDs and recommendations on when to test by the CDC.

  • Chlamydia:  Yearly chlamydia testing of all sexually active women age 25 or younger, older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections (those who have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners), and all pregnant women. (source).
  • HPV:  Women who get routine Pap tests and follow up as needed can identify problems before cancer develops. Prevention is always better than treatment. (source.)
  • Gonorrhea:  CDC recommends dual therapy (i.e. using two drugs) for the treatment of gonorrhea. Persons with gonorrhea should be tested for other STDs. Upon the site of any genital symptoms such as discharge or burning during urination or unusual sore or rash … get STD tested. (source.)
  • HIV:  HIV testing should always be recommended for individuals who are diagnosed with or suspected to have an STD. (source.)
  • Syphilis: Because effective treatment is available, it is important that persons be screened for syphilis on an on-going basis if their sexual behaviors put them at risk for STDs. (source.)
  • Trich:  Trichomoniasis is considered the most common curable STD. For both men and women, your primary care doctor or another trusted health care provider must do a check and a laboratory test to diagnose trichomoniasis. (source.)

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