What’s it like to get tested?

What’s it like to get tested?

You can either go to a specific testing clinic, a walk-in clinic or your family doctor to get tested. Depending on where you choose to go, you may be asked to provide some confidential information about yourself and the sex you’ve been having. To find out where to go, click here.

Sometimes you may have to wait to be seen, depending on the type of clinic and how busy it is. When you are seen by a clinician, they will likely recommend a range of tests depending on the type of sex you’ve been having. It can be helpful to be prepared with information about which test(s) you would like to receive and which STIs you may be concerned about.

These tests may include:

  1. Swabs – during a swab, your health care provider will use a Q-tip-like swab on your vagina, throat or anus. This is most often used to test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and trichomoniasis.
  2. Urine test – you will be given a small plastic container, which you will take into the bathroom and pee into. This test is most often used for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  3. Blood test – your health care provider or clinician will use a small needle to take a small vial of blood from your arm. The exception to this is Rapid Point-of-Care HIV testing, where a health care provider pricks your finger and takes a small sample of blood before giving you results on the spot (not all clinics offer this type of testing). Blood tests are most often used to test for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C.
  4. Other tests – sometimes, STIs are diagnosed through visual inspection, for things like genital works and pubic lice (crabs).

Results can take a week or more. The clinic will contact you if your result is positive, but most clinics won’t contact you if your test is negative.

Click here for more info about the testing experience.

If you’d like to find out where you can get tested, click here.

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