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How Soon Should I Get an STD Test After Unprotected Sex?

Since having unprotected sex is an STD risk factor, it’s important that you pursue STD testing after you’ve done the deed.

This doesn’t mean you should beeline to the lab the morning after, though. There are many factors that affect the STD testing window including:

  • How the STD test works – is it identifying the STD-causing pathogen or your immune system’s response to it?
  • What STD test you use –  certain tests detect STDs more quickly
  • How healthy your immune system is – whether you’ve been exposed to an STD previously, in particular
  • The incubation period for the STD in question
  • How the disease works – whether the STD is viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic

Here are our guidelines on STD test detection windows.

STD Test Detection Windows

HIV Testing

There are several types of HIV tests, including the early detection test that provides results within a week of possible exposure. Other HIV tests measure the level of antibodies your system produces to fight HIV. Since these antibodies take time to form after the spread of the infection, these HIV tests take longer — up to 3 months — to deliver accurate results.

Herpes I & II

A herpes I & II blood test can provide possible detection within 2-4 weeks of exposure, with most accurate results delivered from 12-16 weeks.

Syphilis

A syphilis STD test can take 2 – 4 weeks to detect the infection, or up to 6 weeks for the most accurate results.

Chlamydia & Gonorrhea

Tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea can provide results within 1 – 2 weeks. A test conducted 3 – 4 weeks from exposure is most likely to provide accurate results.

Get an STD Test at ARCpoint Labs Today

Remember, just because your STD can’t be detected doesn’t mean that it can’t be spread! Even if you’ve been tested in the past, you should get an STD test within 6 months of having unprotected sex.

To get started, contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs today!

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