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When should I get tested for STI after exposure?

Sep 2012
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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 1416 Questions
how soon can I be tested for STI's ?
Posted Wed, 1 May 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 52 minutes later

Thank you for posting a query.

Look, before going to the proper discussion, you should know a few words. I am trying to tell you in very simple words.

The timing of tests are different for different infection. But, a test for a particular infection may be inconclusive for a time period. That means, every infection has a window period. In this time period, the tests may be negative. So, the tests should be done within a spectrum of time.

For chlamydia, generally tests are done within first week. But, a negative test after 4 weeks of exposure, is considered to be conclusive.

For gonorrhea, generally tests are done within first week of exposure. But, a negative test after 2-3 weeks of exposure usually ruled out possibility of gonorrhea.

For Hepatitis B and C, confirmatory tests are done after 12 weeks of exposure. No tests before this time period is confirmatory.

For herpes and HIV, tests are done after 3 weeks of exposure. But, results of tests done after 12 weeks of exposure are taken as confirmatory.

For HIV, a p24 antigen assay can be done within 2 weeks of exposure.

For syphilis, tests are done after 1-2 weeks of exposure. But, result of test done after 12 weeks is taken as confirmatory.

Now, I think after reading this long chart, you may get confused, right? In that case, first, think about the exact date of exposure. Consult with a general physician for clinical examination. In case of clinical suspicion, you can do the tests particular for some organisms.

Otherwise, you can do all the tests after 3 weeks and after 12 weeks of exposure. This will rule out any false negative tests due to window period.

Hope, this information suffices. Let me know, if you have any more question.

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