With nearly 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reported annually, and 15–24 year olds accounting for nearly half of that number, it’s not surprising that the Centers for Disease Control recommends routine SID testing for all sexually active men and women under age 25 who are not in a monogamous long-term relationship. But what about everyone else?
If you’re wondering whether you and your partner need to be tested for STIs…if you think you may have been exposed to an STI…if you are pregnant…if you use IV drugs…or if you just want to play it safe… getting the facts on STI testing is a good place to start.
STI testing should not be painful, but may involve any of the following procedures:
Some STIs are easily diagnosed by their symptoms or during a physical exam. Others may require that samples be drawn. If samples are collected and lab work is needed, you’ll probably be asked to call your doctor in a few days for the results and to see about treatment.
Remember, it’s easy to get an STI test. For more information, contact your student health center, your private health care provider, your local Planned Parenthood center or the heath department in your area.
If you think you might need an STI test, the chart below, excerpted from the Planned Parenthood STI Quick Reference Guide, describes the type of tests you can expect.
|Type of Test||How it’s performed|
|Bacterial vaginosis |
(affects only women)
|Genital warts|| |
|Hepatitis B|| |
|Pelvic Inflammatory |
Disease (affects only
To see the complete STI Quick Reference guide, go to: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/stds-hiv-safer-sex/std-testing-21695.htm – howdone
To see recommendations on who should be tested, go to: