Who Should Have an STD Test and How Often?

Aug 10, 2022
Who Should Have an STD Test and How Often?
Almost all adults need regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). How frequently should you be getting tested, and for what? Read to learn more about your STD testing needs.

Sex is a reality of most adult lives, often a positive and enjoyable one. If you are sexually active, getting tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is an important part of your sexual health. 

STDs are conditions that can pass between sexual partners. If you have an STD and don’t know it, your current and future partners could be at risk — as could you, without the right treatment options. At Carolina Urgent Care of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, we offer compassionate and confidential STD testing to patients of all ages. 

Our team, under the leadership of board-certified family physician Dr. Wilby Kurian, can help you understand how frequently you should be getting tested, as well as assist you with understanding your test results and guide you toward treatments you need.

The benefits of STD testing

STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes circulate broadly and widely among sexually active people. Without regular testing, you could have one of these conditions and not know it, passing it on to your partners and continuing the public health issue of unchecked STD transmission.

Some STDs, like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), can also seriously impact your health and wellness if left undetected and untreated. Getting tested for STDs regularly is one of the best tools you have to protect your sexual, reproductive, and whole-body health.

Who needs STD testing?

Nearly everyone can benefit from STD testing at least once. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that all adults and adolescents between the ages of 13-64 get tested once to screen for HIV.

If you’re sexually active or have ever been sexually active, STD testing is definitely something you need. The only question is how often you should be getting tested. The frequency with which you need to STD test depends on factors including your biological sex, your age, your sexual orientation, and how many new partners you’ve recently had or plan on having.

For example, if you’re a woman under 25 years old and you’re sexually active, you should plan on getting tested yearly in order to protect against gonorrhea and chlamydia. Sexually active women older than 25 who have risk factors like a new partner should also get tested yearly.

Sexually active men who have sex with men should be tested at least once a year for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV prevention. And, if you engage in sexual behaviors or drug use behaviors that could increase your risk of HIV or other infections, you may need to be tested more frequently.

When should you get an STD test?

You should get an STD test if you’ve recently become active with a new partner, if you could have been recently exposed to an STD, or if it’s time for you to get tested again based on your personal risk factors. 

STD testing is never about judging you or your lifestyle or blaming you for being at-risk. STD testing protects personal and community health.

Talk to the team at Carolina Urgent Care about the STD testing schedule that’s right for you. With our support, you can ensure that you’re getting the STD testing services that you need to keep yourself and your sexual partners healthy for years to come.

Schedule your appointment at Carolina Urgent Care online or over the phone now.


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