How Often Should I Get Tested?

GC & Chlamydia: Annually for sexually active women 25 and younger. See below for people who are at higher risk.

Herpes Simplex Virus: Testing is only recommended when an outbreak occurs. You need to get tested early in the outbreak to be able to culture the shedding virus. An antibody test (type-specific serological test) is also available to check if your body has been previously exposed to HSV. Due to the high rate of false positives (a positive test result that is not truly positive) and the fact that medication has not shown a reduction for a future outbreak or spreading of disease, this testing is not currently recommended. If you are at higher risk of being exposed to HSV (multiple partners, men who have sex with men) then you may still want to know this information.

HPV: There is no test to find out a person’s “HPV status.” Also, there is no approved HPV test to find HPV in the mouth or throat. There are HPV tests that can be used to screen for cervical cancer. These tests are recommended for screening only in women aged 30 years and older. They are not recommended to screen men, adolescents, or women under the age of 30 years since a positive test is common and is usually cleared by the immune system by age 30.

Syphilis: Annually for men who have sex with men and people with HIV, with more frequent testing (every 3 to 6 months) if at increased risk * (see below). While there is no recommend testing for men and women without those risk factors, it is a good idea to be tested annually if you have any increased risk factors*.

HIV: CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. About 1 in 8 HIV-positive people in the United States don’t know they have it.

You are at increased risk and should be tested at least once a year if any of the following apply to you:

Man who has had sex with other men

Penetrative sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV/Syphilis/Herpes 2/ other STI-positive partner

More than one sexual partner since your last testing

Injecting drugs and sharing needles or works (water/spoons/cotton) with others

Exchanging sex for drugs or money

Diagnosed with or sought treatment for another STI

Having sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know