What Happens During an STI Test

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Visiting a clinic for STI testing seems like a difficult task for most people. However, getting an STI test should not worry you, and it’s a good idea to get tested regularly or when you experience STI-related symptoms. 

Knowing what to expect when you go for an STI test can help set your mind at ease. Below is information on what you should expect when you visit the clinic for STI testing to prepare for your test. 

Where can I get an STI test?

STI tests are available at your local sexual health clinic or GUM clinic. You can also get STI tests at some GP surgeries. 

You can call the sexual health clinic to schedule an appointment for the STI testing, and the clinic may offer a video or phone consultation first. However, you can still have an in-clinic consultation before your STI testing.  

What will happen during the appointment?

When you visit the sexual health clinic for an appointment, the nurse or doctor will ask you questions about your sexual health. Some people find these questions embarrassing, but your doctor or nurse attends to many people every day who need the same test. You need to give honest answers to help the healthcare provider give you the right advice and recommend appropriate tests.

Confidentiality

When you visit the sexual health clinic, you may decide against using your real address and name. Although nobody will call the sexual health clinic to ask about when and why you visited the clinic, you have to give your actual contact details because the clinic may contact you concerning your result. 

Sexual health clinic doctors and nurses have received training to help patients feel comfortable during their visits and offer discreet services. Your healthcare provider will be prepared to help you solve your sexual health issues.  

If you are 13 or above, you can feel free to share your concerns with the doctor because the doctor is not allowed to share whatever details you give with your parents, and your parents cannot record or discuss anything you’ve shared with the doctor – it is a crime in the UK.  

How do I have STI tests?

Most STI tests involve taking a urine sample or a swab sample from the penis or vagina. Some STI tests, like HIV tests, also require a blood sample.  

In some cases, you may need a swab taken from your anus or throat. Swabs are kits that are uncomfortable but not painful, and it takes only a few seconds. Your healthcare professional may give you instructions on how to take the swab sample yourself.

What can I do if I don’t have access to a sexual health clinic?

If you cannot visit a sexual health clinic and want to get tested for HIV, you can order a free HIV self-test kit for use at home.  

When will I get my test results?

It may take a few days to one or two weeks to get the result of most STD tests. However, some clinics offer same-day STI testing if you show symptoms of some STIs like genital warts.  

Are STI test results accurate?

Most STI negative test results are accurate. Note that some STIs like Hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis can take about three months before the test can detect them, so if you had unprotected sex within the last three months, you might want to get tested after the three-month mark.  

What should I do if my test result is positive?

Most STIs are treatable with antibiotics, but your healthcare provider will advise you on the next step to take and handle the situation. Your current and previous sex partners may also need to get tested, as this can help protect you from re-infection after treatment. 

It is against the law to willingly engage in sexual activity or have sex with someone when you are aware of having an STI and intend to pass it to the person. 

You can prevent STI by using protective barrier methods like dental dams, femidoms, and condoms during sex. These methods of contraception create a physical barrier to prevent the spread of STIs.  

For more information on STI testing, walk in STD Check Clinic or Visit our website. You can call us now on 020 3745 7523 to schedule an appointment for your STI testing. 

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