If you are sexually active, getting tested for sexually transmitted infections is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and your partner's health.
First, make sure you have an open and honest conversation with your provider about your sexual history. Ask whether screening for STIs is recommended for you. Dr. Alvarado, what else do we need to know about screening for STIs?
Well, Dr. Mayzik, there are several different types of STI screenings recommended for certain populations. These include:
- At least one HIV test for all adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64.
- Annual chlamydia screening for all sexually active women younger than 25, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STI.
- Annual gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women younger than 25, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STI.
- Syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and chlamydia 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, or MSM. MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened every three to six months for STIs.
- Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from HIV testing every three to six months.
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.