When and How Often Should I Get Tested?

“Women should be tested for chlamydia on a regular basis. Some gynecologists test for it automatically, but not all do,” Hook says.

For other STDs, including HIV, syphilis, and genital herpes, blood testing is most accurate.

To test for HPV, a sample of cervical or anal cells must be collected.

How often an individual needs to be tested for STDs depends on their level of risk for infection.

The CDC recommends the following for testing for chlamydia:

Annual screening in sexually active women age 25 and younger and in older women who are at an increased risk for infection because of a new sex partner or multiple sex partners
Annual screening in men who have sex with men, based on exposure history, with more frequent screening in people at the highest risk
Screening in all pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
Annual screening in sexually active people living with HIV
The CDC’s recommendations for gonorrhea testing include the following:

Annual screening in sexually active women who are at risk for infection, which includes women ages 25 and younger
Annual screening in men who have sex with men, based on exposure history, with more frequent screening in people at the highest risk
Screening in all pregnant women under age 25 and older women who are at an increased risk
Annual screening in sexually active people living with HIV
The CDC’s recommendations regarding screening for syphilis include these guidelines:

Screening in all pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
Annual screening in men who have sex with men
Annual screening in sexually active people living with HIV
The CDC has additional recommendations for other STDs.

In all cases, more frequent screening or screening for additional STDs may be appropriate for certain individuals, depending on their risk factors, including sexual behavior and how common a particular disease is in their area.

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