Let's start with who should get tested...
Let’s face it, the chances are you’ve slept with at least one person whose sexual history you do not know and they’ve probably slept with one other person whose sexual history they didn’t know.
Putting your sexual history aside, did you know that STIs can also be transmitted in other ways? It’s rare, but it happens.
STIs do not discriminate; they can and do happen to people from all walks of life. So instead of asking yourself if you should get tested, ask yourself:
If you still need more convincing let’s play a game of ‘Have You Ever’
1. Have you ever actually seen your partner’s verified STI results?
2. Have you ever failed to have an STI test between sexual partners?
3. Have you ever had unprotected sex?
4. Have you ever had oral sex?
5. Have you ever had anal sex?
6. Have you ever had a condom break?
7. Have you ever implemented the sharing is caring method with sex toys?
8. Have you ever used the ‘the pull out’ or withdrawal method?
9. Have you ever had unprotected sex with someone who swore they had been recently tested and did not have any STIs?
10. Have you ever had the suspicion your partner may not be or have been entirely faithful? (If you answered yes, we’re sorry to hear that, but you should get tested.)
11. Have you ever used protection that has passed its expiry date? Really you’ve checked the expiry date every single time? That’s impressive.
12. Have you ever been tested within the ‘window period’ (scroll down to find out what they are if you don’t know) for screening for an STI? Or has your partner?
If you answered Yes to any question other than 1 then don’t do a shot of your favourite beverage, GET AN STI TEST. If you answered No to question 1 then GET AN STI TEST. If you answered I Don’t Know to questions 11 and 12 then, you guessed it; you should GET AN STI TEST.
Let’s start with the most important reasons why Stigma Health may not be the answer for you. There are times when a face-to-face with the doctor is your safest choice so please make sure you do not fall into any of these categories:
you believe you may have been exposed to HIV or Hepatitis B in the last 72 hours you should seek medical attention ASAP and do not engage in any sexual activity prior to doing so. Visit a doctor, hospital or specialised clinic where you will be able to receive the necessary preventative post-exposure treatment (PEP).
you have symptoms of Herpes 1 & 2 such as:
You should see a doctor to have a swab taken. Herpes 1 & 2 cannot be diagnosed by a blood test so we do not currently test for it. It’s important you seek the best course of treatment through a face-to-face consultation ASAP and hopefully it goes without saying...do not engage in any sexual activity prior to doing so.
you are under the age of 16 we unfortunately cannot provide you with a pathology referral to get tested for STIs.
What Should You Do? If you are under 16 and are concerned you may have contracted an STI we urge you to visit a doctor to arrange a test ASAP. Alternately you can visit an STI clinic or hospital clinic to get an STI test. If you need more advice or help finding an STI clinic near you visit our Resources section where you will find the contact information for several Sexual Health Info Lines operating across Australia.
If you want to find out about the ‘window period’ for a certain STI before visiting a doctor just scroll down a little further.
you are outside of Australia Stigma Health unfortunately cannot currently provide you with a pathology referral to get tested for STIs, however we hope to be a global force fighting STIs one person at time in the near future so please sign up to receive updates from us so you’ll know when Stigma Health can help you.
When it comes to STIs, it’s complicated, they’re devilish infections that don’t always present symptoms straight away, which is why it’s so important that you get tested, but they are also deceptive when first contracted. For that reason there is designated ‘window periods’ for different STIs that you should take into account when getting tested.
It’s usually possible to detect it within the first week, but if you have strong reason to believe you have come into contact with someone who has Chlamydia a follow-up test slightly later on is a very smart idea if the first one comes back negative.
It’s usually possible to detect it within the first week, but again if you have strong reason to believe you have come into contact with someone who has Gonorrhoea a follow-up test slightly later on is recommended if the first one comes back negative.
It’s possible to detect it after six weeks, but it’s most likely detected after twelve weeks.
It’s most likely detected after six weeks.
It’s mostly likely detectable after twelve weeks, but sometimes it can take up to twenty-four weeks.
It’s possible to detect it after four-five weeks, but it’s most likely detected after twelve weeks.
It’s possible to detect it after two weeks, but it’s most likely detected after four-seven weeks.
If you are in the ‘window period’ then you can proceed, but we recommend you return for further tests later if the first one comes back negative or consult your doctor once the ‘window period’ has passed.
Find Out More About The Process
Or simply head to our FAQ section