If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Make sure to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about your sexual history and STD testing. A recent study found that one-third of teens didn’t talk about issues of sex and sexuality during their annual health visits.
If you are not comfortable talking with your regular health care provider about STDs, there are many clinics that provide confidential and free or low-cost testing. It is also important that you find and visit a doctor or other medical provider who stays current on STD and HIV testing recommendations.
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- Annual chlamydia and gonorrhea screening of all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
- Syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women starting early in pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed, to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
- Screening at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea for all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STDs (i.e., at 3-to-6 month intervals).
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).