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How Do I Get an STD Test?

STD testing is available through a variety of health care providers, including many doctor’s offices, clinics, and community health centers. Different kinds of tests may be conducted in order to check for STDs.

Where to Get Tested

You can ask about STD testing at an appointment with your primary care doctor. They may be able to test you in their own office or they may refer you to a clinic.

Most areas have local community health centers that provide STD testing services by appointment or for walk-ins. Many of these locations offer confidential and free or low-cost STD testing. You can find STD testing near you with the CDC’s GetTested website.

For a more convenient way to get tested, you can order an STD test kit online. Companies like Nurx offer at-home test kits for common STDs including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, trichomoniasis, HPV, HIV and Hepatitis C.

What to Expect

At the appointment, a doctor or nurse practitioner will discuss your medical history and ask whether you’ve been having any symptoms associated with STDs, like sores, discharge, or a burning sensation when you urinate.

Then, they’ll ask about your sexual history, like how many partners you’ve had and whether you use condoms. They may also ask about drug use since it’s a risk factor for HIV. In some cases, a physical exam will also be performed.

Types of STD Tests

Finally, the doctor or nurse practitioner will take one or more samples. These may include:

  • Blood (from a blood draw or finger prick).
  • Urine.
  • A genital swab.
  • An anal swab.
  • A swab of the inside of the mouth/throat.
  • A swab of sores or unusual discharge.

Getting Your Results

Some health care providers are able to test the samples that have been collected in their own office. Often known as rapid tests, these types of STD tests provide you with same-day results.

In other cases, the samples need to be sent out to a lab and you may have to wait for several days until you find out the results of your STD test.

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