STD testing is done in many different ways. When you go to a doctor to be tested for STDs, they should start by asking you questions about your risk factors. After assessing what diseases you are at risk for, they will test you for those conditions. Anyone with a new partner or multiple partners should be screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea, but testing for other STDs is usually done at the doctor’s discretion. Syphilis screening, for example, is recommended for pregnant women and certain high risk groups including prison inmates, men who have high risk sex with men, and patients with another STD. In the absence of symptoms, however, other people are not usually tested for syphilis because of the risk of false positives. However, if you know you are at risk for a particular disease, speak up. The best way to make sure you’re screened is to ask.
Below, you will find links that describe how doctors test for some of the most common STDs.
- Chlamydia Test FAQ
- Gonorrhea Test FAQ
- Non-Gonoccocal Urethritis (NGU) Test FAQ
- Trichomoniasis Test FAQ
- Syphilis Test FAQ
- Chancroid Test FAQ
- Bacterial Vaginosis Test FAQ
- Mycoplasma Genitalium Test FAQ
- Lymphogranuloma Venereum Test FAQ
- Herpes Test FAQ
- Hepatitis Test FAQ
- HPV Test FAQ
- HIV/AIDS Test FAQ
- Molluscum Contagiosum Test FAQ
- Pubic Lice Test FAQ
- Scabies Test FAQ
Although public clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, frequently test for STDs as a standard part of a yearly exam, many private doctors do not. Therefore even though you may think you’re safe, because your doctor hasn’t told you that you have an infection, it’s possible that you haven’t actually been tested at all. You should always ask what screening tests your doctor has performed, and don’t hesitate to ask for additional tests if you think they are appropriate. It’s better to be safe than sorry.