Getting Tested

The go-to persons for STI tests are your general practitioner and specialists in dermatology & venereology, urology & andrology and gynecology & obstetrics.

Often insurance covers the costs for STI tests if symptoms are present or an infection is suspected, for example, in case of risk-taking sexual behaviour.

Usually you need a letter of referal to get an appointment or access to STI tests at ambulatories and clinics.

Otherwise it is possible to get tested at your own expense (aprox. € 150-300).

 

Many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) often occur with either few, nonspecific or no symptoms at all. As a result, they often remain undetected for long periods of time and can thus be transmitted unknowingly through (unprotected) sexual contact. Some STIs, if untreated, can lead to grave diseases, permanent damage (e.g. infertility) and even death. 

 

The use of safer sex tools like condoms, internal condoms and dental dams can reduce the risk of transmission for most sexually transmitted infections. We also recommended, prior to any first encounter, to talk to one’s potential sexual partner about their testing habits and risk awareness. Testing habits means when has a person been tested for which STI. Risk awareness includes the questions “How many different people has this person had sexual contact with?”, “Were safer sex tools used?” and “What kind of sexual contact took place?”.Many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) often occur with either few, nonspecific or no symptoms at all. As a result, they often remain undetected for long periods of time and can thus be transmitted unknowingly through (unprotected) sexual contact. Some STIs, if untreated, can lead to grave diseases, permanent damage (e.g. infertility) and even death.

 

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Yeast Infections, Hepatitis A+B+C, HIV, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, & HPV (if exposed). Don’t forget to be tested in the throat (Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HPV) if you want to have a full test. Be aware that Gonorrea, Chlamydia & HPV don’t show symptoms in up to 60% percent of the cases. 

When choosing your date to get tested be mindful of the incubation windows: https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/how-soon-get-tested-for-stds-unprotected-sex
6 weeks after a risky encounter is a good rule of thumb to test for STIs.

 

If you experience symptoms that for example include discharge, itchiness or damaged skin in your genital area, you should absolutely seek advice from a doctor and testing for STIs.

Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, it is still important to get tested for STIs before becoming involved with a new sexual partner and suggest them to get tested too.

Additionally, you should get tested if you risked a potential infection (e.g. through unprotected sex with a person that has an STI) or your sexual partner has been diagnosed with an STI.

It is also crucial to keep the waiting period in mind. A transmission of an infection is also possible before a test can even detect the infection. This means that even with a negative test result, you should continue using safer sex methods.

The time period between STI tests depends on various factors such as the number of sexual partners, the risk-promoting behaviour and the incubation times of sexually transmitted infections.

 

Be aware of INCUBATION PERIODs of certain STDs – I usually recommend a 6 weeks minimum waiting period. It should be noted things like HIV and Hepatitis can take 2 to 3 months to be detectable. This is also a reason why regular testing does not free from responsible behaviour. The last test a partner shows you might be negative, but an infection in a risky situation 2 weeks before the test would not be recognized.

Here’s a helpful infographic for this: https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/how-soon-get-tested-for-stds-unprotected-sex

Having no SYMPTOMS does not mean being in the clear. One can carry STDs like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia without showing any symptoms: http://www.self.com/story/stds-you-can-have-without-knowing-it

For those unsure which testing methods are best, here’s a 2016 article on differences between urine and swab testing methods: https://www.verywell.com/urine-testing-for-gonorrhea-and-chlamydia-3132777

Also for urine testing, go test directly after waking up or bring morning urine (better results)

If you have a concrete suspicion / symptoms of having contracted something in your pussy or asshole, a smear test (Abstrich) is recommended, additionally to blood / urine testing.

 

An initiative from the non-profit Association Sex-Aware

More Infos: www.Sex-Aware.org

Information for Germany and Safer Sex Guide : Marc Seestaedt
Marc’s Article in German 

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