What to expect when you get tested for an STI
STI testing is quick and easy and most STIs can be tested for, even if a person doesn't have any symptoms. A person getting an STI test should be prepared to answer personal questions about sexual activity and drug use. These questions may be on a sheet of paper or face-to-face with a medical professional. It's important to be honest because some STIs look a lot a like, and the person may be tested for more than one. Many times results are ready within 20 minutes and the person can leave the clinic with medication to treat and/or cure the STI after the appointment.
If you think you should be tested but you're nervous, scared or worried - that's totally normal! Try and find a close friend or trusted adult that can go with you for support.
Types of STI tests
- Urine test (pee into a cup)
- Cheek Swab (rub a soft swab onto the inside of the cheek)
- Blood test (a small amount of blood is taken from the arm or finger)
- Physcial exam (the doctor or nurse looks for sores, warts, or any other physical symptoms of an STI)
- Swab of discharge or cells from the vagina, penis, anus, cervix, urethra or throat (the doctor may swab these areas for you, or allow you to swab them yourself)
- Testing sores - they may also swab some fluid from active sores
A person can go to your regular doctor and ask to be tested or you can go to one of the clinics on the map below for free and confidential testing.
Types of STIs and their specific symptoms, treatment and prevention