How often should I get tested?
The frequency of testing should depend on the level of risk your sex life exposes you to:
- Multiple partners: If you're engaged with multiple partners, particularly if you’re not using a condom, it is recommended you go in for an STI screening every three to six months.
- Non-monogamous: If you are sexually active and not in a monogamous relationship but still using a condom, you should be screened at least once a year.
- Tested positive: If you have previously tested positive for an STI, no matter your relationship status, you need to retest after treatment
- New relationship: If you are just starting a relationship, you should go get tested before you start having unprotected sex
- Condom mishap: If you had sex with a condom and the condom broke, tore or slipped off, you need to get tested immediately
- No condom: Whenever you have unprotected sex with a new partner, after that is a good time to consider being screened for STI and pregnancy.
- Symptoms: If you have noticed any bumps, discharge, rashes or other changes in your body, you need to go get tested immediately
- No sex: If you are committed to sexual abstinence until marriage, and you and your partner limit sexual contact to kissing only, you generally don’t need to get tested.
- Making out: If you limit your sexual activities to very low risk practices such as kissing, touching and mutual masturbation, then you probably don’t need to get tested.
- Long-term relationship: If you are in a monogamous relationship and both you and your partner got tested at the beginning of the relationship, you probably don’t need to get tested again. As long as you are faithful to each other. However if you trust your partner but do not feel like betting your health on his or her loyalty, consider getting tested once a year for extra safety.
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Did you know?
- An STI cannot be detected until 3 months after the last unsafe sex.
- Do not have sex without a condom until you’ve both been tested and will be monogamous in the relationship.