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STD Incubation Periods

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An STD incubation period is the amount of time it takes for symptoms to appear after exposure. While you should always use safer sex practices, especially with new or multiple partners, sometimes STD prevention methods fail. If you wake up one morning with a strange rash or mark on your body, it can be very concerning. Keep in mind that symptoms aren’t necessarily a good measure of determining whether or not your or your partner has an STD. Here are some common STDs, and the average time it takes for symptoms to appear after exposure:


Many people never experience symptoms, but when they do appear, it’s usually in one to three weeks. Chlamydia can cause complications even in asymptomatic patients, so regular screening is important.


Like chlamydia, gonorrhea is also asymptomatic for many carriers. Symptoms can show up as early as two days after, however, or as long as a month.


HIV can remain asymptomatic for years for many of the people infected by the virus. (Some people will get flu-like symptoms around two weeks after exposure.) It’s important to note that with HIV, a carrier may not even yield a positive test result for three to six months after exposure.


On average, the first syphilis symptoms appear about three weeks after infection, but they may appear 10 to 90 days after exposure to the bacterium.

Genital Herpes

Most people never know they’re infected, but if symptoms do show up, they’ll appear within two weeks of exposure. Some people will have full-body viral symptoms and a fever within the same time period.

TEST SMARTLY LABS nationwide are equipped to provide discreet and accurate STD testing for individuals. Regular testing is critical to maintain sexual and personal health. If you are concerned that you may have contracted an STD, be sure to contact your nearest location today!



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