If you are ready to get tested but aren’t sure if it is necessary here are some guidelines that will help make it easier for you to take care of your sexual health.
Get tested today
If you have never been screened for a sexually transmitted disease it is recommended that you be tested. This even applies if you are not sexually active or have only had one partner. STDs can be spread through methods other than sex, and since not everyone shows immediate signs or symptoms it is impossible to know for sure if your partner is infected. If you have had more than one partner or engaged in unprotected sex you should be tested today.
Get tested in two weeks
Some people might wonder why wait two weeks to be tested for STD/STIs if you are concerned about a possible new infection or are worried about a recent sexual partner, and there is a very good medical reason for this waiting period. There is an incubation period associated with STDs that typically runs from several days to a week or more, which is why the CDC and health care officials recommend the two week waiting period. If you are tested before the end of the incubation period the test results will be inaccurate, and even though you might think that you are not infected you will still pose a significant health risk to your partner and others.
Retest in six weeks
If you test positive for any of the STDs or are still worried about a previous sexual encounter, it is recommended that you be retested after a six week waiting period. HIV/AIDS does have a longer incubation period, up to four weeks in some cases, which means an STD test after just two weeks might not be 100 percent accurate. Other sexually transmitted diseases can also take longer to display any signs or symptoms, and in some cases the treatment you receive might not always be effective. If you truly want peace of mind and the assurance that you are not contributing to the spread of STDs it is a good idea to follow the recommended guidelines and be retested after six weeks.