Questions about STD Testing?
Safer STD Testing is an informational referral website. It refers customers to nationally reputed private STD Testing service providers (“Preferred Service Providers” or “Advertisers”). Safer STD Testing is not a medical or healthcare professional facility or a provider of any medical or healthcare services. Safer STD Testing gets compensated on net purchase of products or services by our users referred to such Preferred Service Providers. Click here to read our full disclaimer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, sexually transmitted infections are an all too common occurrence in the lives of otherwise healthy people. Worldwide, 1 in 10 women in the age group 16–20 have Chlamydia.

Syphilis has come back with a fifty-fold increase in its prevalence. Over the last decade, more and more people have been infected with HIV, and according to the CDC, 1 in 3 HIV-infected individuals do not realize they are infected.

Over the last year, the incidence of Gonorrhea and Hepatitis B and C has increased while 1 in 5 sexually active people in the United States is believed to have the genital herpes Type 2 virus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Clearly, sexual health is an important issue in the world of today and that’s mostly because people find it hard to talk about their sexual health.

The STIs are spreading far and wide and that’s to a large extent because people refuse to acknowledge the existence of the sexually transmitted infections.

If you’ve been pushed into having sex or you’ve had unprotected sex and you have reasons to fear that you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection, you might have several questions about the different sexually transmitted diseases and STD testing.

The FAQs above will answer most of your questions. If you can’t find your question below, you can contact your local health provider.
If you are considering private STD testing and need these answers, please call the number on top of the page for additional assistance.
1 in 10
Women ages 16-20 have Chlamydia
1 in 3
People don’t know their
1 in 5
People in the US have the genital herpes type 2 virus
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Frequently Asked Questions


Should I Get Tested for STDS?

  • Are you not sure about whether or not you should be tested for a sexually transmitted disease (STDs)?
  • Are you thinking about getting your and your partner tested before intimacy?
If you are one of the millions of Americans wondering if you should be tested for STDs, the answer will always be “yes”. Even if you are not sexually active, you can become infected. STIs are able to be spread through multiple methods, and this is not only limited to sexual activity. Some viruses, like Herpes are spread through casual contact, which makes it important for everyone to be tested regardless of their past sexual history. Common symptoms include:
  • Discharge from the vagina or penis
  • Itching/Burning during urination
  • Sores on the genitals
People of any age, race and gender can get an STD. The CDC reports that the number of people who are infected with STDs is on the rise[1]. If you’re concerned or uncertain about whether you have an STD, take the next step and visit a qualified health care provider who offers STD testing and counseling. It is also important to remember that many infections do not have symptoms. Many individuals have STDs and are completely unaware of it! Getting tested can erase your doubts and help you to stay informed about your body.

Are STD tests expensive?

Even though this is one of the most commonly asked questions, it is almost impossible to answer. The tests are Fast, Private and Affordable even if you’re paying out of pocket. Dedicated care advisors at the toll free number provided above can help answer any additional questions regarding cost and payment at one of the private STD testing locations.

For public testing clinics it is even harder to predict. Many of them do not provide availability of all STD tests. Some tests are free but for many you have to pay out of pocket based on their eligibility criteria. To get additional information, please visit our location page to select a public clinic and contact them directly.


If I am under the age of 18 can I still get tested without a parent/guardian’s permission?

While the law can vary from state to state in most cases you can get tested for all STDs without signed consent from a parent or guardian even if you are age 17 or younger, though it is still a good idea to check with the local laws in your area.


If my visit is confidential, why do I need a photo ID?

The law requires that your visit and subsequent test is completely confidential and the results will never be shared with an outside party, and this is one of the reasons why you need a photo ID to confirm your identity. The picture ID card ensures staff that the results are being released to the right person, and it also helps the office personnel keep accurate records about their patients’ health. Already having your information on file also helps to improve your experience on future visits, and it can even speed up the procedure.

It is important for all clients to remember that all personal information regarding your health status is strictly confidential, and cannot be released without your explicit written consent. This also applies to any patients who are 17 years old or younger.


When should I get tested?

If you are worried that you were exposed to a STD it is important for your health and that of your loved ones for you to make an appointment for testing. If you are sexually active with one or multiple partners whether or not protection was used it is recommended that you get tested for STD/STIs on a regular basis. Trying to understand what a “regular basis” is will often lead to confusion. The vague term is responsible for some people who are at a higher risk to put off the important health checkup, and this is contributing to the growing spread of sexually transmitted diseases. TODAY IF:
  • You’ve never been tested before.
  • You’ve had more than one partner
  • You’ve had unprotected sex
  • You’re about to start a new relationship
  • You’re concerned about a recent sole sexual partner
  • You think you might have a new infection
  • Some infections take a while to develop symptoms. That will ensure the most accurate results possible.
  • Are you interested in seeing if you’re the right candidate for an STD test and are interested in understanding your private STD testing options?
Call and a care advisor would be glad to help you.

Aren’t I automatically checked for STDs by my primary care physician?

Unless you are honest with your health care provider about your sexual activity or have specifically requested STI testing as part of your annual physical, it will not be included in your exam. An annual physical is simply a routine checkup to ensure that there are not any noticeable problems, and most health care practitioners do not consider STI testing a part of a regular exam.


If I have unprotected sex over the weekend can I get tested on Monday?

The answer to this question is a little more complicated than a simple “yes or no”. You can get tested for any of the sexually transmitted diseases whenever you want, but some of the viruses might not be able to be detected. The incubation period can vary from a couple of days up to 6 weeks or longer for some STDs, which makes it important for you to return for another test. Contact a care advisor so they can give you the right custom recommendation.


How are the STD Tests Done?

There are some people that feel fear and anxiety even at the mention of a health test, which makes them put off important checkups. If you are worried about how the STD test is performed you will be able to take a deep breath and relax. The simple procedure is quick, and the majority of those who are tested will never feel more than a quick prick of the needle when their blood is drawn.
  • Physical Exam—A health care provider may examine your anus, genitals, mouth, and other areas of your body for signs of STDs such as warts, discharge, sores, or rashes. For women, this exam is similar to pelvic exams. Some private testing providers do not require a prior physical examination and require only taking samples to conduct their testing.
  • Blood Sample—Your provider or assistant may take a blood sample that will be tested.
  • Urine Sample—To test for an STD, you may be asked to urinate into a cup.
  • Saliva, Discharge, cell, tissue sample—Your provider or assistant may use a swab to collect samples that will be examined.
A STD test will only take a few minutes, and it is noticeably faster than your annual health checkup. In most instances a health care professional will ask you a few routine questions about your lifestyle and sexual activity before the procedure is started. When you are tested for STDs, blood will be drawn or a urine sample collected. A swab of the mouth or genitals may be performed. The collected samples will be sent to a lab. Even those with a fear of needles will find that the blood draw for an STD test is no worse than any other routine blood draw. Testing is the only sure way for you to find out if you are infected with an STD.

If I test positive for a STD can it be cured?

Some STDs can be effectively treated and cured. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics, along with Syphilis. It is important to start treating Syphilis early, before it begins to adversely affect your health. Hepatitis C can be cured with specific antiviral drugs. Herpes can be treated but there is currently not a permanent cure for the virus, and the same is also true for HIV and Hepatitis B. Even though there is still not a cure for all STDs, treatment programs are capable of effectively managing the signs and symptoms so you can lead a normal and healthy life. But the first step is to get tested for STDs.


Can I contract the same STD more than once?

Even if you have just been treated for an STD, it is possible to contract the same one again or a different type of STD. You are never completely immune from STDs, which is why it is important to keep getting retested on a regular basis. The exception is that if you have antibodies against the hepatitis B virus to due to a prior hepatitis B infection or vaccine series, you’re immune to future hepatitis B infections[2].


What is a rapid HIV test?

There might be times when you don’t want to wait for the results of a standard HIV test. A rapid HIV test – done with blood from a finger prick or an oral swab – can get the results back to you within a few minutes[3]. While the results are generally accurate, it is important to remember that the oral swab only checks for HIV and not any of the other sexually transmitted diseases. In most cases the only time this procedure is recommended is if you are worried about exposure to HIV and are not willing to wait for the standard test results.


How Can I Be Privately Tested for an STD/STI?

One of the main reasons people put off STD/STI testing is the shame and embarrassment they feel when they run into familiar faces at the health center. We understand this reluctance to have others involved in the problems or issues you might be facing in regards to your sexual health, and we are dedicated to helping you get tested privately.

Our Preferred Service Providers can help you to get tested privately at one of 4,000 plus labs located around the country. They work together with these private labs to ensure your complete confidentiality.

When you are ready to take advantage of the private STD testing service, the process is quick and easy. You will need to pick up the phone and call the provided toll free number, and the helpful operator will walk you through the appointment process which will allow you to avoid the crowded community centers.

With a scheduled appointment at one of the private labs affiliated with our Preferred Service Provider, you will be able to relax and be tested without worrying about running into friends or family.

The STD test will only take 15 to 20 minutes which will still leave you with ample time to accomplish the rest of day’s tasks. One simple phone call is all that it takes to be privately tested for all of the STD/STIs.


Do I have to have a STD test in order to get condoms?

You do not have to have a STD test performed in order to purchase condoms from a drug store, and the pharmacist will not insist on seeing your results. The CDC encourages everyone who is sexually active to use condoms, and there are often clinics around the city that offer the prophylactics for free. Some bars and nightclubs even have condoms by the door for patrons to grab on the way out. It is important to remember that while a condom can prevent STDs, it is still recommended that you get tested on a regular basis.


Don’t I only need to be tested if I have sex with a new partner?

It is important to be tested for STDs after having sex with a new partner, but this is not the only time you need to think about your sexual health. It is important to remember that not all STDs are spread solely through sexual activity, and even those who have been with the same partner for years can still contract an STD. Screening for STDs should be part of your regular health care routine, not something that is only done when you are with a new partner.

Common Myths

Common Myths Surrounding STDs

Even in this technologically advanced age there are still several myths and misconceptions surrounding STDs and how they are spread. Until everyone understands all of the facts about STDs, the United States will continue to have one of the highest rates of infection among industrialized nations.

STDs can’t be transmitted through oral or anal sex

This common myth is one of the reasons that STDs are on the rise. Certain STDs may spread between partners if there are any open cuts or sores. A condom or a dental dam, used to protect your mouth, will reduce your chances but neither are 100 percent effective.

You will always know if you or your partner have an STD

Not all STDs immediately show signs or display any symptoms, even after the standard incubation period has ended. This means that you have no sure way of knowing if you or your partner are infected. Any STD can have short- and long-term health consequences, which makes it vital for your overall well-being to get tested as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment is an important way to reduce the impact of STDs on your life. In some cases, testing and treating STD will save your life.

Herpes is only contagious when someone is having an outbreak

Recent statistics released by the CDC estimate that there are over 750,000 Americans newly infected with genital Herpes virus infections each year[4]. While the number of infections is sobering, so is the fact that Herpes can be spread even when there are not any obvious signs or symptoms. More than 80% of the 14 to 49 year olds in the US who have the HSV-2 variety of Herpes infection have never been formally diagnosed with the condition[4]. In many cases the only way to know if you are infected is to be tested.


STDs only affect certain people

A common misconception is that STD/STIs will only affect a certain type of person, but nothing is farther from the truth. STDs are not limited to people with certain lifestyles or beliefs. With 20 million cases of new STD infections each year in the US[5], it must be clear that everyone needs to take proactive steps to take care of their sexual health. Almost 10 million of these cases occur in people aged 15 to 24 years[5].

Chlorine will kill all STDs

Neither chlorine nor the hot water that is typically found in a pool or spa are able to kill STDs. In fact the harsh chemicals found in pools and hot tubs can make condoms less effective. When the latex material is weakened due to exposure to chlorinated hot water it is possible to spread a STD during sex. Note that this doesn’t mean that you can get an STD simply by soaking in a pool or hot tub. But having sex in a pool or hot tub, even with a condom, doesn’t protect you from getting an STD.

Saran or plastic wrap can be used in place of a condom

This myth is contributing to the spread of STDs, especially among teens. Only an appropriately sized and applied condom can prevent STDs, and even then, it is not 100 percent effective. Condoms are very effective at preventing chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. But condoms offer less protection against STDs that can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, such as syphilis and herpes[6].

Only contact with semen can spread STDs

If you are relying on this myth to keep you safe, you will want to make an appointment for STD testing that day. Some STDs are able to be spread through other bodily fluids or through contact with infected areas of the skin.

The pill can prevent STDs

The contraceptive pill is only able to prevent pregnancies and has no effect on preventing the spread or contraction of STDs. This myth is particularly dangerous to teens, and is one of the contributing factors to the high STD rates according to the CDC.

There have been some reports of Chlamydia going on away on its own, without treatment. However, there's no way to predict if a Chlamydia infection (or any other STD) will go away by itself. It's much safer to assume that any STD requires treatment with medications. If treatment is delayed serious health complications can develop, and even lead to eventual death.


Using two condoms will provide better protection

Even though this does seem like a wise decision, it will lessen your ability to protect yourself and your partner. The friction that is created between the two condoms will weaken the latex material and cause it to tear, making it ineffective. One condom is better than two condoms during sexual intercourse to prevent the spread of STDs.
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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis B Questions and Answers for Health Professionals.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Types of HIV Tests | Testing | HIV Basics | HIV/AIDS.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. STD Facts - Genital Herpes (Detailed version).
  5. Satterwhite, C. L., Torrone, E., Meites, E., Dunne, E. F., Mahajan, R., Ocfemia, M. C. B., Su, J., Xu, F., & Weinstock, H. (2013). Sexually Transmitted Infections Among US Women and Men: Prevalence and Incidence Estimates, 2008. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 40(3), 187–193.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Condom Fact Sheet In Brief.


Safer STD Testing is an informational referral website. It refers customers to nationally reputed private STD Testing service providers (“Preferred Service Providers” or “Advertisers”). Safer STD Testing is not a medical or healthcare professional facility or a provider of any medical or healthcare services. Safer STD Testing gets compensated on net purchase of products or services by our users referred to such Preferred Service Providers. Click here to read our full disclaimer.
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